Online music platform Musiana invigorates Puja song tradition with new Bengali songs
Kolkata, Oct 12 (IBNS): As the most awaited festival of the Bengali community- the Durga Puja- arrived, many would once eagerly wait for new songs those used to be launched during this festive period.
It is a tradition in the Bengali community over the years. In fact, artists used to strive hard to bring out their best collections during the Durga Pujas as a gift to the audiences.
The tradition of Bengali songs during the Pujas has been a unique feature of the Bengali Music Industry and it is sustaining for more than 100 years now.
However, of late this tradition is facing serious challenges with the onslaught of overproduction, dominance of big money for films and extreme commercialization, among other factors.
In an attempt to restore the tradition, Musiana ( www.musiana.org ) , a musical online platform, with an aim to building a community strictly bound by music, has launched two new Bengali songs on the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya, which ushers in the final countdown to Durga Puja.
Kolkata-based modern Bengali singer-songwriter and music director Srikanto Acharya and his wife Dr. Arna Seal, who have taken up the onus of expanding Indian classical music’s reach across the globe through Musiana, also feel there is a great need of preserving the Bengali culture.
According to Srikanto Acharya, the launch of Bengali songs during the Durga Pujas has never stopped. However, there has been a lack of platform for the artists to reach out to their audiences with their creations during Pujas.
"Earlier radio used to provide a big platform for such songs. But with the advent of private FM channels, the medium is mostly dominated by film songs. I feel there is a need to preserve this culture of launching new Bengali songs during the Pujas," he said.
Musician Joy Sarkar, however, feels that theme-based Pujas have also contributed in reducing the popularity of Puja songs in Kolkata.
"As a result of theme-based pujas, the organisers try to play music that will suit their themes. Besides television and radio are already dominated by film songs. Therefore it leaves artists with dearth of platforms," he said.
The Musiana website or www.musiana.org, which is an initiative that seeks to build a virtual rendezvous for a community of music lovers, students, teachers, musicians and researchers, is launching two songs for the occasion since the makers feel that the medium of web has emerged as one of convenience which artistes of any budget are able to access.
Musiana, being a non-profit initiative, is trying to garner corporate support to sponsor music on it and leverage the web for their benefit as a marketing tool. Jewellery group P C Chandra has come forward to support their two "Pujor Bangla Gaan" and run their advertisement on the videos for the web audience.
"It is an endeavour to revive the tradition of Puja Songs, which has been a part of the indigenous culture of the Bengali community," said Srikanto Acharya.
The first song by Musiana has been named "Bondhu Tumi Esho", which has been sung by popular singer Lopamudra Mitro. The lyric for the song has been given by Arna Seal while the music has been lent by Joy Sarkar.
The second song offered by Musiana is called "Onek Diner Dhak". This song has been sung and composed by Srikanto Acharya with lyrics being penned down by Arna Seal.
Both songs are in way about love and hope. They salute the human spirit, inviting people to break the mould while struggling for survival and live their true selves in this ever confusing world of falsities.
Speaking about the tradition of Bengali songs during Pujas, singer Lopamudra said: "This year Musiana is bringing out my song for the occasion of Pujas. I feel this is a first-of-its-kind initiative. This is a unique attempt by Musiana since being a web medium it can reach one and all."
A brainchild of Dr. Arna Seal, Musiana.org is also co-founded by musician Srikanto Acharya, Sarod exponent Dr. Rajeeb Chakraborty and Mostafa Towhid Khan of Bangladesh.
Musiana.org's You Tube channel can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The song "Onek Diner Dhak" can be accessed at : http://musiana.org/bengali-
To listen to "Bondhu Tumi Esho", tune into: http://musiana.org/bangla-
(By Shabarni Basu)
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