The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore’s Rabindra Sangeet (“Tagore’s Songs”) have long been a fundamental and integral component of the rich cultural tapestry of Bengal.
Now one of India’s greatest living poets is bringing this cultural treasure to an even larger audience, with a little help from some his friends in London.
‘Anant’ is a musical collaboration between poet and lyrics Javed Akhtar, London-based writer and filmmaker Sangeeta Datta and the gifted Sarod player Soumik Datta.
Akhtar, the writer (with Salim Javid) behind such iconic films as ‘Sholay’, ‘Deewar’ and ‘Mr India’ as well as timeless lyrics of countless movies, has long been an admirer of Tagore songs and melodies. However his first professional encounter with the great Bengali artist came when he was working on Ms Datta’s 2009 film ‘Life Goes On’.
‘Anant’ the album is the result of the inspiration he found whilst trans-creating two songs for the film. Datta herself lends her classically-trained vocal talents whilst Soumik has handled the musical arrangements.
Contemporary re-imaginings of classical music is nothing new but Anant is a revelation. Tagore’s lyrics and songs are timeless and they are given a new lease of life by the exceptional Soumik Datta. His regular musical collaborators such as Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Zoe Rahman and Idris Rahman also feature in the album as a collective tribute to Tagore.
Anant is a collector’s item which lovers of poetry and culture will preserve and cherish.
The translated songs have retained the original tune and meter in the tradition of Pankaj Mallick and K. L. Saigal who opened up Bengali Rabindra Sangeet to a larger, pan-Indian audience more than fifty years ago.
To attend the UK launch of ‘Anant’ on 10th July, visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/anant-tickets-17202788002