Vol. 5 Num 781 Mon. August 07, 2006  

Samia Mahbub: A musical homecoming

Omni Music in Gulshan came alive on August 5. Holding forth in Hindustani classical vocal music and Nazrul compositions was Washington-based Samia Mahbub Ahmad who is here for a vacation.

As the hall filled up, the lights dimmed and cast a soft glow on the attractive Samia. Beginning with a Khayal in raag Shyam Kalyan, she performed Vilambit, drut khayal (tritaal) and drut khayal (ektaal). The first and the third items were the compositions of her guru Vidushi Sumitra Guha. The discerning audience clapped as her meditational style gripped their attention.

Then followed a bhajan in raag Bhupali. Once again composed by Vidushi Sumitra, the bhajan was a paean to Lord Shiva. At the fag end of the musical soiree, Samia performed Nazrul songs.

As the show drew to a close, popular artistes such as Shakila Zafar and Subir Nandi commended her performance and stage presence. In many ways the show was an apt homecoming for Samia. Though she visits Dhaka every year, she is performing in the city after a gap of 15 years. That explains why speakers such as chief guest Professor Rafiqul Islam, pro-vice chancellor of the University of Liberal Arts, dubbed Samia's show as a 'return to the roots'.

Samia has bagged awards and while residing in South Africa, she joined forces with Ismail 'Pop' Mohammed to produce Braids, an album that blends the sounds of traditional African musical musical instruments with the depth of Hindustani vocals.

Recently Samia produced and released Srijana Chhande, a Nazrul sangeet CD album.

Samia performs at a musical soiree