Breath Of Fresh
days, when the music industry is vastly band dominated,
Swani Zubayeer's album, Nirjon Shakkhor, is something much
awaited for by the lovers of classical music. Zubayeer releases
his third solo album from World Music. His singing is passionate
without having to squeeze emotion out of every single note.
fairly a new face in the music world of Bangladesh, Swani
Zubayeer is practising singing from his early childhood.
the “sa re ga ma” of music from his mother Khurshid Jahan.
His first guru was Sri Gobindo Rabi Das. His classical taleem
in Indian classical music began in 1994 under the supervision
of Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan and Jawad Ali Khan, the grandsons
of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Zubayeer did his Masters
in English Literature in 1996 from the Department of English,
Dhaka University. Presently he is doing his Bachelors in
Western Classical Composition from the Royal College of
music in Stockholm, Sweden.
Zubayeer's first two albums are Saara, a collection of love
songs, and Apna Khayal, a collection of ghazals, released
from Mumbai in January, 2003. Nirjon Shakkhor is the first
album of Bangla songs by Zubayeer.
is a passionate singer with a great range. This album features
strong lyrics, appropriate musical backing, and a fairly
wide variety of songs. The most unique thing about this
album is that the lyrics, tune and arrangement of all the
songs of this album are done by Zubayeer himself. His melodies
are clear and simple, which allows the listener to explore
the depth of the lyrics.
Nirjon Shakkhor haunting lyrics tackles such subjects as
life, love and death.
opening track, “aaj aamar mon bhalo nei” is melancholic
and the moving second track lures one into a world of senses.
Here he compares himself to fire while his beloved is compared
to light wind which visits the senses gently time and time
instruments used in this album are: violin, sarod, sitar,
santoor, mandolin, harmonium, flute, tabla, keyboards, acoustic
guitar, bass guitar. In the third track, “Sondher hahakar”,
one can hear the flute being played after a raga at the
beginning of the track. It creates a haunting effect.
this is not a diverse album. The only track that is
different in melody is the fourth one, “Ekti chaoai khub
kore chai”. This song is a rather fast one interspersed
with rhythmic variations.
last track is the title song, “Nirjon Shakkhor”. Swani Zubayeer
has written this song by rewriting a few lines from poet
Jibonanondo Das's famous poem “Nirjon Shakkhor”. About the
rewriting Zubayeer apologetically says that he has taken
this liberty because of his love for Jibonanondo Das. He
has passed many silent nights and pensive moments thinking
about the lines of “Nirjon Shakkhor”. Though the lines compelled
him to come up with an idea of tuning them, it was not possible
if one tries to keep the format and structure of the poem
Zubayeer has his musical roots in Indian classical, but
you can hear the distinctive influence of western classical
in his work. There is a common thread of sadness in the
numbers that the singer perhaps likes to explore.
makes this album a classic is that it carries a signature
of its own. Nirjon Shakkhor or a solitary signature (this
is how I preferred to translate it) is definitely going
to change the stream towards popular music. There are very
few young singers who sing classical or ghazals these days.
It's true that Bangladesh has music lovers of all types
and tastes. But Zubayeer will be loved by the listeners
who are craving for something different.