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     Volume 5 Issue 92 | April 28, 2006 |

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Voicing out with Bangla

Elita Karim

Nothing can be more therapeutic than the healing power of music. Not only does it break barriers and bring people from different spheres of life together, it also speaks a mystic language for all to comprehend and live by. The release of Bangla's second album, Prottutponnomotitto, has done just that: the creation of a new dimension in Bangladeshi music, building a platform for people to voice their thoughts and true feelings regarding the recent atrocities performed in the country in the name of religion and God.

The album was launched on April 14, the first day of the Bangla New Year at Blue Grass in Gulshan. An Ektaar production, the album was distributed by Soundtek.

Voicing out Lalon Shah's emotions, the set of ten age-old compositions were fashioned by the group with a mixture of instruments like tabla, mrindangam, ektara, dhol, bangla dhol, trumpet, guitars, drums, keys and even used a choir group for a background in one of the numbers.

"Prottutponnomotitto means quite the opposite of Kingkortobbobimur, our first album," explains Buno. "Kingkortobbobimur literally means being awestruck, not knowing what's happening around you, where as Prottutponnomotitto refers to the feeling of knowing exactly what is happening. It refers to the strong feeling of self-existence and experiencing the world first hand. "

Prottutponnomotitto, based on the concept of existence and survival of the fittest in terms of religious justification, reflects on the recent mayhem that struck the country in the name of religion. Each of these Lalon's numbers speak about how the simple idea of humanity has taken a back seat as compared to religion. They ask these so called religious leaders to justify their acts based on the religious scripture. "How many of us actually understand the Holy Qur'an," says Buno. "These people go about the country killing everyone and blasting lives justifying that it's the right thing to do, since it is written in the scriptures."

The album also consists of little conversations with the general people about these 'religious' acts. "We got together several boys and girls, men and women into the studio," smiles Buno, "and had them speak their minds, something that they probably wouldn't get the chance to do otherwise." These people were professionals from all sects of society, bankers, musicians, professors even bauls, who spoke about politics, culture, education, the law enforcement policies, religion and who to blame for everything. "We keep on blaming the politicians and 'those two ladies' for everything that goes wrong in the country," says one woman on the record. "Maybe it's time to think as to what we as citizens can do for the society ourselves."

The album starts off with a 30-second prayer song, calling upon everyone to come together to build a wall of strength to answer the questions put up by time. The album ends with a prayer song, sung by Abdur Rob Fakir. "It's the tradition of the bauls to start and end their musical soirees with a short prayer song," explains Buno. "We thought of including them here as well to complete the idea of the concept album."

This folk-fusion album consists of mesmerizing vocals by Anusheh, Arnob who also played the acoustic guitars and Abdur Rob Fakir who also played the dotara. The guitar work was done by Kartik and Buno while the drums and percussions were played by Shantanu. The album cover was designed by Buno's 7-year-old cousin, Navid and the scripts (inside and back cover of the sleeves) were written by Tareq Masud. The album was mixed and mastered at Dhun.

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