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Lyricist composer Ranjan Prasad traces the renaissance of contemporary Bengali songs

17 January, 2020 03:20:15

If you push the ‘past’ button on a Musical Time Machine, tracing Renaissance in Bengali songs, you will probably realize musical creations of Bengal were a confluence of global themes, since the time when Rabindranath Tagore composed Puranoshei diner katha. That button was again pressed at the 52nd session of MAYA adda with lyricist, composer and music activist Ranjan Prasad sharing his views on thewestern influences that led to the musical transition.

From the turbulent times of 1970s, when legendary bands Mohiner Ghoraguli and Nogor Philomel tried to bring in a revolutionary change in the journey of Bengali music, interviews of Ravi Shankar with Menuhin broadcasted on Doordarshan, Ranjan Prasad was also a part of the transition in this part of the world writing songs of protest for the oppressed. He himself penned the famous song ‘Ami muktirgaan gai,’ expressing the freedom of thoughts and Pother prante oi shudoor gayen recorded by HMV, a Bengali version of Harry Belafonte's Jamaica Farewell

In Ranjan Prasad’s words, ‘Melody has a universal character, it travels from one part of the world to another without a passport.’ His own musical consciousness began from his roots --- from Purulia, the land of dhamsa-madol. The Vietnam War ripped him apart and thus started the new genre of protest music and songs, far from the baiji, bulbuli and belowari jhar space. At the adda, he sang a few songs to explain his point of view taking the audience of MAYA Art Space to the golden era of transformational Bengali contemporary music.

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