Listeners soak in spirit of mystic Sufi music - Musicians from Odisha, Bengal and Nepal present soul-awakening renditions

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 14.03.14
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Bhubaneswar, March 13: The Sufi Music Festival of Bhubaneswar Music Circle, Samarpan, concluded today at Rabindra Mandap after regaling connoisseurs in the city with their renditions.

The second edition of the three-day festival showcased performances by some of the most revered names in Sufi music. Since concerts in this genre of music is rare in Odisha, the festival won over the hearts of music lovers by presenting a cross section of devotional music drawn from the Sufi tradition as well as others with similar philosophy.

The concluding evening featured Odia devotional songs in Nirguna genre, Odisha’s own mystic form of devotional music. Ramhari Das rendered the Odia bhajans, while Dhaneswar Swain on Mardala, Ajay Kumar Chaudhuri on tabla, Jabahar Mishra on flute, Ajaya Kumar Dash on harmonium, Balaram Bal on keyboard, Siba Kumar Mohanty on Octapad accompanied him.

The intense lyrics emphasised on awakening the soul and realising that life is too short to pursue anything other than spirituality. The recital was appreciated deeply by the audience.

“Odisha has its own share of mysticism in devotion and also a unique form of music that is usually associated with such devotion. However, it is sad that we do not get to hear much of Nirguna music at concerts. It was amazing to listen to these songs today,” said Nirupama Behera, a member of the audience.

The next performer was G.C.D. Bharti, who hails from a family of traditional singers of Kabir’s bhajans.

He leads the group Kabir Bandhu that also performed on Thursday. Better known as Bharti Bandhu, his group members include G. Viweka Nand Bharti on tabla, supporting vocalists Gopi Krishna Bharti and Jenab Irfan, Rudraksh Bharti on dholak, Pawasa Nand Bharti on manjira and vocals.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sufiana music from Gorkha Hills and Nepal by Pema Lama and group was staged.

The Sufi tradition in the Gorkha hills consisting of Darjeeling and contiguous areas has become a part of the folk music tradition and has adopted use of the modern musical instruments along with the traditional instruments of the hills such as Domphu and Madal.

Baul artiste Pandit Purna Das Baul and group from Bengal presented the item Music of the Soul, which was another highlight of the second day.

“Sufi music is one of the best known mystical forms of devotional music. It transcends national and religious boundaries with its philosophy of universal brotherhood and love,” said Khirod Patnaik, secretary of Bhubaneswar Music Circle.