Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bhupen Hazarika to release new album in October

Bhupen pays tribute to saint - Singer to cut album of devotional songs penned by Sankardev

Guwahati, June 12: In 1937, a little boy called Bhupen wrote his first song as a tribute to 16th century saint Srimanta Sankardev and set it to music.

Seventy-two years later, Assam’s living legend will cut his first album of devotional songs penned by Sankardev and his disciple Madhavdev.

“It was one of my greatest desires to lend my voice to the unique compositions of Sankardev who has been an inspiration throughout my life. I now feel complete,” said 83-year-old Bhupen Hazarika today.

The solo album, yet to be named, is incidentally, Hazarika’s first in almost a decade.
Hazarika, admittedly, was greatly influenced by Sankardev’s philosophy of peace and brotherhood.

Produced by Surjya Hazarika, a close aide of the singer and his official biographer, the album has eight devotional songs called borgeet and namghosa.

Borgeet literally means a great song and is sung in various raga styles.

Though Sankardev is said to have composed nearly 250 borgeet, less than 35 remain. The namghosa is, in its entirety, a book of devotional verse written by Madhavdev.
Sankardev and Madhavdev set the songs to tune and used them extensively to propagate their Vaishnavite faith.

The religion Sankardev preached — part of the Bhakti cult which was traversing through India at that time — gave Assam a dogma-free society.

His favourite disciple, Madhavdev, carried forward his legacy and furthered the Bhakti movement across the state and beyond.

To be released around October, recording for Hazarika’s album was completed recently in the city.

“Bhupenda put his heart and soul into the songs despite his advancing years. His voice is as golden as ever,” said Surjya Hazarika.

A couple of the album’s songs will also be included in Surjya Hazarika’s film, Srimanta Sankardev, the first full-length feature film on the saint.
Source : The Telegraph , June 13,2009

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