Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, the man behind the Coke Studio Bangla (he’s the show producer), finally sings his first song for Season 2, after Chiltey Roud in the first season. Shondhatara — a duet by Arnob and his musician wife Sunidhi Nayak — is a fusion of a Raga Yaman-inspired melody and contemporary sounds.
Arranged and produced by Adit Rahman, Shondhatara, which means the evening star in English, is a Bengali adaptation of the popular Hindi bandish Main Waari Waari Janugi, written and composed by Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, based on the evening raga.
Bangladeshi lyricist Divash Krishna Biswas translated the bandish into Bengali for the classical portion, Emon-o Hereche, while Arnob penned the lyrics of the Bela Haray segment and set it to tune.
Shondhatara strives to unify two different worlds through a harmonious fusion, using classical instruments and modern elements. The set design reflects this duality of genres with Sunidhi and Arnob performing in two distinctly-coloured boxes separated by a wall.
The composition begins with a gentle sitar prelude, played by Nishit Dey, followed by Sunidhi’s rendition of the bandish expressing a lover’s longing for her beloved. Sunidhi performs the classical piece with emotion and depth as she renders the bandish with the typical full-throated style of Agra gharana.
As the song progresses, the music evolves, incorporating modern instruments and rhythms. Adit Rahman’s synth bass, Kishon Khan’s piano and Rahin Haider’s tenor saxophone help set the mood as Arnob offers an alternative interpretation of love through his EDM soundscape.