While one smiles and shares anecdotes, the other ponders upon her surroundings silently and offers suggestions. Fahmida Nabi and Samina Chowdhury, sisters famous for their beautiful songs and numbers they have been recording and performing for the Bengali audience for decades, are as similar as chalk and cheese. Their passion for music and the dreams that they look forward to achieve, however, are equally strong!
Recently, they paid tribute to their deceased father, the great composer, lyricist and singer Mahmudunnabi, in the album Amaar Gaaner Praante. The album was released from Bengal Foundation.
Many of the lyrics and compositions in the album were written and composed by other famous names who were popular for their conceptions back in the day. However, each song speaks of the timelessness of Mahmudunnabi's creations.
“As his children, it lies upon us to keep his music and words alive,” says Fahmida Nabi. “Otherwise, it would not take long for these beautiful elements to disappear forever.”
While all the songs are solo numbers in the album, only one composition, Diyechi Maa er Sneho, is a duet sung by both the singers. “All the songs were arranged and recorded in Kolkata by Aashu Chakraborti,” says Samina Chowdhury. “He has done a good job, but I simply could not give a lot of time. I had hardly a day to record my parts.”
Both Fahmida and Samina are singing and recording regularly for musicians and music directors – ones who are established as well as the ones who are new and promising. “Everyone needs a place to start,” says Samina. “I listen to the demo, and if I like it, I go ahead and record. It doesn't matter to me if the composer is new or a super star.”
“I have recorded many songs with young people,” says Fahmida Nabi. “In fact I run a weekly music workshop with young singers called Karigori. We work on music, lyrics and also talk about life.”
Conversing with the two sisters turns out to be quiet eventful – starting from talking about compositions, the music industry, they move on to talk about their children, some of the crazy fans they encounter on a regular basis and lastly about food.
Grab the album, Amar Gaaner Prante, if you haven't already. The Eid holidays spent listening to renditions of classics by the great Mahmudunnabi over a cup of tea, that too by his daughters, would surely be worth it.