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Sunday, September 11, 2011

'Remembering Tagore' in Paris

India to host a cultural programme ‘Remembering Tagore’ at Hall 1, UNESCO House, Avenue de Suffren, Paris on 12th September 2011 to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The programme is part of the two-day High-Level Sponsoring Committee (HLSC) for the Reconciled Universal for Rabindranath Tagore, Pablo Neruda and Aime Cesaire. The Additional Secretary, Union Ministry Of Culture Shri Rakesh Garg would represent the Ministry on the occasion. Arrangements have been made for Live Webcast of the programme.

The Cultural Programme features documentary on Tagore by Satyajit Ray, Hindi rendition of Tagore’s songs by Smt Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam, Violin Recital of Tagore’s music by Dr L Subramaniam, Bangla rendition of Tagore’s songs by Ms Shama Rahman, Recitation of Tagore’s poems by Ms Aparna Sen, Tagore Lounge by Mr Bickram Ghosh (Tabla) and Ms Shama Rahman (vocals), and Bangla Rendition of Tagore Song by Santanu Roy Choudhary.

Documentary Film on Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray was an admirer of the man Tagore, his works and vision. He not only made films from five of Tagore’s stories, but also took upon the task to make this dramatized documentary on the life of the poet-laureate. Produced in 1961, the same year in which Ray made ‘Teen Kanya’ from the three of Tagore’s stories, this documentary was made to celebrate Tagore’s birth centenary. Conscious that he was making an official portrait of India’s celebrated poet, Ray refrains from touching upon the controversies in Tagore’s life. However, lovers of cinema will see the deft cinematic touches of a master filmmaker that sets it apart from most biographical documentaries in the world. The dramatized sequences in the film of the young Tagore are moving and lyrical, befitting the biography of one of the most progressive men, ever.

Recitation of Tagore’s poetry by Aparna Sen
Aparna Sen is one of the India’s most celebrated cinema Directors. Her directorial debut film “36 Chowringee Lane” won the Grand Prix at the Manila International Film Festival and the National Award for Best Direction in India. Her directorial work also includes memorable films such as ‘Sati’, ‘Paroma’, and ‘Yugant’. Aparna Sen is also a film actress and has won several awards for acting. Ms. Sen has served on juries at many international film festivals, such as International Film Festival of India, Moscow International Film Festival, and the Hawaii International Film Festival. Aparna Sen has also been honoured with some of India’s most prestigious awards including the Padmashree Award by the President of India and the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also involved with theatre.

Hindi rendition of Tagore’s poems by Ms. Kavita Krishmanurthy
Undoubtedly one of the favourites of the critics and the masses, Kavita’s singing career reads like a fairy tale. Her exquisite and mellifluous voice, wide range and, versatility to sing different styles and types of songs has put her in a unique place amongst singers and she has been quoted as a ‘Melody Queen” by leading critics and connoisseurs alike. Although primarily a playback singer, with over 15,000 songs to her credit, Kavita has not allowed herself to be limited. She has sung with orchestras as a soloist, she has collaborated with Western artists from the Jazz, Popular and Classical fields. She has sung ghazals and devotionals. She has even sung Indi-Pop. In 2010, she took over as Artistic Director of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival.

At UNESCO’s programme she sings ‘Surya Taaron se’ (Aakash Bhora), ‘Teri Awaj Pe yadi’ (Jodi Tor Daak Shone), ‘Tum Kya Ho Bas (Tum Kee Keboli) and Man Mera udta Jaaye (Mono Mor Meghaero Shongae)- all Hindi renditions of Tagore’s songs.

Violin Recital of Tagore’s music by Dr. L. Subramaniam
Dr. L. Subramaniam, violin maestro, is one of the rare musicians who has performed and recorded Carnatic Classical Music, Western Classical Music, both Orchestral and non-Orchestral, and also composed for and conducted major Orchestras, scores for films and collaborated with a wide range of some of the greatest musicians of the world from different genres of music including jazz, jugalbandis with North Indian musicians, world music and global fusion. He has established himself as a force that is strongly Indian, but universal in nature and approach. He is the creator of the Global Music concept and the founder/director of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival and the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts.

Tagore’s music was influenced by Baul music, Western Classical music, Scottish Ballads, Irish folk music as well as Thumri style of Hindustani music. Interestingly he was also influenced by Carnatic –South Indian Classical music. Two of the most popular Tagore songs that can be directly connected to the influence of Carnatic Krithis are ‘Ekri labanya purano praan’ and ‘Baaje Karuna shure’ influenced by Thyagaraja compositions –the first based on ‘Lavanya Rama’ in Raga Poorna Shadjam and the second in Needu Charanamulle in Raga Simhendramadhyamam.

At UNESCO’s programme Dr. L. Subramanium performs a Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi in Raga Simhendramadhyamam (C D Eb F # G Ab B C) which is one of the 72 parent scales in South Indian classical music. This is one of the most complicated musical forms in Carnatic music since it greatly depends on improvisation and great control over melody and rhythm. The ‘ragam’ section is a free-style melodic improvisation of the raga and is called ‘Raga Alpana’. The ‘tanam’ section is a melodic improvisation which has a rhythmic structure associated with it – an extension of the ‘Raga Alpana’ but often using doubling and tripling of the notes. The ‘pallavi’ section is based on a fixed composition of one of 2 lines and is improvised upon. For this concert, in the Pallavi section, Dr. L. Subramaniam will use the melody of “Baaja Koreena shure” which was a influenced by “Needu Charanamule”. For the Kalpana Swara improvisations, he will use ragas from popular Tagore songs.

Bengali rendition of Tagore’s poems by an artist from Bangladesh, Ms. Shama Rehman
Ms. Shama Rahman, one of the leading contemporary Tagore artistes, from Bangladesh, has carved a niche for herself through devotion to her medium, with her soft lilting voice. To date she has cut fourteen albums of Rabindra Sangeet. This year alone to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Shama has cut five audio albums of Tagore songs on Prem (love), Prokriti (nature), Puja (Devotional), Swadesh (patriotic) and Bichitra (diverse) and to celebrate the publication of 100 years of the publication of Gitanjali, she has cut four audio albums, under UNESCO Reconciled Universal Pogramme”.

Tagore Lounge by Bickram Ghosh
World famous percussionist and New-age star, Bickram Ghosh is ranked amongst the top Tabla players of our country. Equally brilliant within traditional as well as experimental genres, Bickram has carved out a unique niche for himself in his diverse avataars as classical musician, new - age artiste and composer. He is heralded as one of the multi-talented virtuosos of his generation. Son and disciple of the great Tabla maestro-Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Bickram has also learnt the nuances of Carnatic percussion from Pandit S. Sekhar. He performed for over a decade with the legendary Pandit Ravi Shankar who honed his skills in the art of accompaniment. He has worked with such top-ranked Indian musicians as Ravi Shankar, Aki Akbar Khan, V.M. Bhatt and Tatun Bhattacharya.

Bickram Ghosh’s Tagore Lounge is a unique presentation where Tagore’s mellifluous songs blend with Indian Classical Ragas and a riveting modern soundscape relying heavily on masterful rhythms created through a blend of traditional acoustic and electronic instruments. In a unique departure India’s master drummers explore Tagore’s amazing Taals (rhythms) in an improvisational format.

The Programme at UNESCO features Mor Bhabonare, Mor Binaothe followed by Rabindra Tala Sangam-an improvisation on Rabindranath’s Tala

Bengali Rendition of Tagore’s poems by Santanu Roychoudhury
Santanu Roychoudhury is well known to music lovers of India. His innovative style and depth of voice has won him wide appreciation both in India and abroad. He regularly sings for cinema, telefilms and TV serials.

For “Remembering Tagore” Live Webcast broadcast, please visit mms://stream.unesco.org/live/room_1_floor.wmy at 10 P.M (IST) onwards on 12 September, 2011.