Endeavouring Tagore, Anny Ahmed & Sudipto Paul's new album fuses Rabindra Sangeet with ambient sounds
Anny Ahmed and Sudipto Paul recently launched their latest album, Endeavouring Tagore, a modern-day fusion of post-rock ambient sounds with traditional Rabindra Sangeet songs. This is the first album of Anny Ahmed, the main vocalist of a Kolkata-based band called A Dot in a Sky.
The album comprises seven solo rabindra sangeet tracks, namely, Tumi Robe Nirobe, Bhalobashi Bhalobashi, Boro Asha Kore, Jokhon porbena more, Purano sey diner kotha and others, interspersed with five recitation from Tagore’s Chinnopotrer Chitthi- four of which have been recited by Anny Ahmed and one of them by Upal Sengupta.
The duo also released a video of the song- Tumi Robe Nirobe on YouTube on the same day. The music video has been produced by Anny and Sudipto, and has been directed by Soham Mondal. Debojyoti Koley is the photographer and colorist, while the sound production, music arrangements and mix-mastering has been carried out by Sudipto Paul himself. INRECO, an offshoot of Hindustan Records is the audio label partner, and the video can be found at their youtube channel-Indian Records.
“I have done other music projects/singles before and have experimented with different genres, such as pop, post-rock and others. But this is the first ,” says Anny Ahmed, the 28-year old singer. Both Anny Ahmed and Sudipto Paul are members of the three-year old Kolkata-based band, A Dot in a Sky, which specialises in ambient/post-rock music.
Anny has been learning rabindra sangeet since the age of four, she tells us; but she is also a part of the professional music scene for the past 13 years now- experimenting with different genres and different kinds of music. “The songs we have chosen have been attempted by many others several times in the past, but what makes our album different, is the experimentation. We have changed the soundscape, by adding ambient music and selected the chinnoportros, after meticulous research; going by which song complements which chinnoportro, and vice-versa,” says the singer, who also teaches Maths at Techno India.
“We are also very grateful to some eminent musicians, like Upal Sengupta, Kunal Biswas (Fakira), Gaurab Chatterjee, Ritaprabha Ray, Rudraneel Chowdhury (The Missing Link) and Prasun Bhattacharya (MSonic) who who supported us with their significant contribution,” she adds.
This is the second Tagore-related project for Sudipto Paul, who has composed the music for Endeavouring Tagore. A self-taught musician, who plays the keyboard with bands like Pota R Moruddyan, Rigmob and other independent musicians, Sudipto has fused elements of his favourite genre, post-rock, with Tagore’s tunes, to bring out a different but original flavor of the songs.
“My connection with Tagore has been there since childhood, either through family or through my teachers. In 2012, I had produced an album on Tagore, as part of another band- which spurred my interest in his books and his music,” he says.
“For Endeavouring Tagore Anny helped with the choice of songs, while I experimented with the music. I decided to use the ambient genre, because it hasn’t been used with rabindra sangeet that much. But I was also very conscious of not undertaking something which wouldn’t sound aesthetically pleasing,” says Sudipto, whose studio The Audio Room is the place where the album has been recorded.
“I have tried to keep to the tunes, and kept some spaces too - so that we don’t ruin the essence of the song. I hope people, especially youngsters like it,” he adds.