Album: Musical Explorers: Waves of Joy/Bauls from Bengal
Artist: Field Recordings by Deben Bhattacharya
CD #: EUCD2791
Label: ARC Music
Genre: World Music – Field Recordings
Features: Liner notes by Simon Broughton + DVD ‘Waves of Joy’
Release: 25th May 2018
‘Musical Explorers: Waves of Joy’ is the fifth release in the Musical Explorers series from ARC Music, curated by Simon Broughton, Editor-in-Chief of Songlines Magazine. ‘Musical Explorers’ seeks to document the historic works of musicians and ethnomusicologists who brought attention to the burgeoning world music scene in the 20th century. Deben Bhattacharya built a massive music and film library of priceless archive recordings made during his lifelong commitment to exploring the musical roots of a large variety of cultures.
‘Musical Explorers: Waves of Joy/Bauls from Bengal’ celebrates the poems of both present and past bauls, revered spiritual poets or aesthetes of Bengal. Compositions range from historically celebrated bauls such as Matam Chand Gosain and the prominent philosopher Lalon Shah Fakir through to contemporary bauls such as film actor and folk musician Mujib Pardeshi and lyricist, composer Bhaba Pagla.
This new release comprises both an audio CD plus a DVD of the film made by Deben, called ‘Waves of Joy’, filmed in 1973 at the Kenduli Mela in West Bengal, a huge musical and religious gathering held in Kenduli, birthplace of the famous poet Jaidev in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. The songs on the accompanying CD were recorded in nearby Shantiniketan in 2001, co-curated by Jharna Bose-Bhattacharya.
As Simon Broughton writes,
“Bhattacharya was born into a Bengali family in Benares, India. He came to Britain in 1949, worked for the Post Office and as a porter in John Lewis - and was assigned some programmes on Indian music commissioned by the BBC. He was also lucky enough to be introduced to Harley Usill of Argo Records who’d already released an LP of musicians from Bali recorded at the Winter Garden Theatre in London (demolished in 1965). Bhattacharya wanted ‘ethnic music’, as it was called, for his radio programmes and Usill liked the idea of releasing music from around the world in what became ‘The Living Tradition’ series. Together they released dozens of records and Usill helped him buy his first tape recorder.”
“It was semi-professional equipment, portable but heavy,” Bhattacharya recalled. “As I set out for my first recording journey to India toward the end of 1953, my one-man mobile unit consisted of a 12-volt car battery without the car and a vibrator for power supply in the villages in addition to the tape-recorder and other accessories. I returned with about ten hours of music and Harley and I spent hours selecting material for the first two LP records in my series.”
Baul poetry and music are amongst the greatest expressions of Bengali culture. The complete Musical Explorers series released so far includes: Colours of Raga; Krishna in Spring; Music of Tibet; Taiwan Silk & Strings and new release ‘Musical Explorers: Waves of Joy’ being released through ARC Music on the 25th May, 2018.
Track Listing CD: ‘Musical Explorers: Waves of Joy’
1. Doya Kore Esho - 4:01
2. Ke Banalo Emon - 3:57
3. Guru Dohai Tomar - 4:45
4. Maran Karo Kotha Shone na - 7:04
5. O Ghate Kam Kumbhirer - 5:00
6. Ore Pirite Banaichhe Boiraghini - 3:57
7. Gour Lilar Bajare - 3:58
8. Koriya Chaturi More - 5:31
9. Elore Patal Gadi - 6:15
10. Nona Gange Namaio Na - 4:27
11. Jodi Mishte Chao - 5:23
12. Monpakhike Dile Phanki - 4:48
13. Ghore Kopat Dao - 5:07
14. Emon Koler Baksho - 6:40
CD total playing time: 71:36 min.
DVD total playing time: 27 min.
All tracks traditional, recorded by Deben Bhattacharya.
For more information please contact Angie Lemon: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +44 (0) 1342 770 486 | ARC Music Productions International | PO Box 111 | East Grinstead | West Sussex | RH19 4FZ | UK www.arcmusic.co.uk