The Borno Anonyo ensemble's concert is set to be a potpourri featuring several facets of art
One rarely comes across an album so throbbing with possibilities. One that speaks of the back-breaking reality of poverty, where hope can be illusionary, and one that speaks of the total destruction of livelihood faced by people who have to leave their own land in search of safer pastures, to take up arms, and face the oppressive establishment with amassed strength.
From such a volatile vortex emerges Borno Anonyo’s music, oscillating in the territory of emotional provocation. The storytelling spirit of the album, which is technically a Shruti Natok, or audio play, is embodied in the words ‘Some past, for the future’ written on the back of the CD. It uses songs, poetry and texts of Rabindranath Tagore, PB Shelley, Mohiner Ghoraguli, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Jyotirindra Moitra , Pulak Ratan Ojha and Nagar Philomel to paint a contemporary picture that is equally eternal and universal.
“We tried to capture whatever we are seeing in theworld around us. There is so much strife, suffering and sorrow. Bridges are breaking down, people are displaced from their homes, there’s talk of NRC... It is an atmosphere of fear,” says Satyaki Banerjee who along with Nabamita Das, Koustav Dey and Dwaipayan Saha gave birth to this stellar album.
The sound courts creative freedom alarmingly. Middle Eastern instruments like rubab and oud mixing with the dotara is as natural as having a song with only percussion. A lone guitar can hold the central sonic nerve much like how a monotonous thread on the ukulele carries a song. “The way the soundscape is designed is the essence of the album. It is broken up into segments, through songs interspersed with spoken words and recitation. And the sound echoes the whole lyrical aspect. What is being said in the songs pushes the music foward,” explains Satyaki.
For their upcoming concert at the cosy Deshaj Café and Store in Ballygunge on November 2, they have expanded their repertoire beyond the album songs. “The additions to the script include the Ritwik Ghatak-directed Subarnarekha, Komol Gandhar and Meghe Dhaka Tara. There’s also talk of Nabarun Bhattacharya’s novella Herbert and Suman Mukhopadhyay’s film based on it,” says Nabamita.
“Subarnarekha’s child Binu and Herbert’s adult Binu, in a way, trace the journey of time and space while bringing alive the desire to live as much as Meghe Dhaka Tara’s Nita cries out that she wants to live. Binu is as eternal as his hope of finding a new home.” So, artful visual elements adding to the thoughtful audio play will make it a truly audio-visual wonder.
Percussionist Arunabho, flautist Swarup, violinist Souptik and guitarist Ranajoy have also been roped in to strengthen the musical range, supported by Mainak, Rajarshi and Suchal. In the traditional sense, the Borno Anonyo ensemble does not perform concerts. Its act is a potpourri of several facets of art, presenting audiences with an ethereal experience that stays long after the curtains are drawn.