Published:  12:40 AM, 31 August 2017

'Mere mixing up songs is not fusion'

'Mere mixing up songs is not fusion'

Just weeks ago 40th National Film Award was given. Swani Zubayeer bagged the Best Music Director Award for his wonderful music composition for feature film, Anil Bagchir Ekdin.  A.S.M. Yiahia has taken the interview of this promising Music Director.

AA: You have recently received National Film Award as best Music Director. Would you please express your feelings regarding this recognition?
SZ: I think any kind of recognition is a matter of pleasure. However, I cannot celebrate my achievement because my ways of life do not go with that. But any award or recognition gives me delight. Alongside it also recollects me I will have to come up with much better works in future. I must mention 24th July (National Film Award Giving Ceremony Day) was my younger daughter's birthday. All my family members were present there. My elder daughter asked me 'father, are you really going to receive award from the Prime Minister?' Overall, this award is in many ways remarkable to me.

AA: What helped you most in case of arranging music for Anil Bagchir Ekdin-plot or background of the story of the movie?
SZ: Of course, the movie's plot, background helped me a lot. I needed to dwell on the times of 1971. The use of acoustic instruments created a feeling of that time since those instruments would be used much that time. Even in case of making front title and end title of the movie I tried my best to bring into focus the then atmosphere of classical music.

AA: I think the recognition has made you indebted to the listeners. How would you fulfill the desires of the people in future?
SZ: At the outset, I mentioned this award created responsibility to do good works more and more. I always have in my mind how to mingle Western Music with Hindustani classical Music. Since I studied both the streams I would love to come up with something aesthetic through the mingling of aforesaid streams. In our country, the trend of using theme music in a movie has not initiated yet. I have been trying to do so. Moreover, in a movie Kaler Putul, directed by AK Reza Galib, I made a theme music and other songs of the movie are centered around that song. It will be submitted in the Censor Board soon.

AA: Would you like to share any interesting story centered around your involvement with the movie - Anil Bagchir Ekdin?
SZ: I have worked in many studios in Kolkata while arranging music for the movie. I would never forget an incident which would remain a memorable day of my life. One day Morshedul Islam, Director of Anil Bagchir Ekdin, took us to the resident of the legendary figure of South Asian movie world, Mrinal Sen. I sat with Mrinal Sen in his resident. Morshed Bhai introduced me to Mrinal Sen as the music director of Anil Bagchir Ekdin. Suddenly Mrinal Sen, holding my hand, said 'he sings very well'. In a word, the hospitality I got from Mrinal Sen and his wife can not be described in words.

AA: Let me come to a different issue. How did you engage yourself with music?
SZ: To answer the question requires telling a tale. I have seen my family's association with art and music since my childhood. My grandfather (maternal) was Khan Muhammad Mainuddin who wrote 'Oi dekha jai talgachh, Oi amader gaon.' I passed my childhood days in his house. There was always musical adda in the house but I never participated in these. I have always been bit shy. I learnt some songs with my mother since she used to sing.

I started my journey of music through taking talim from Sree Govinda Robi Das. However, that time I was madly interested in football playing. I was injured while playing football and I had to undergo an operation. So to speak that was a pause in my learning. Later I attended Nainital University, India. There I engaged myself with a group of theatre. I have intimately worked with the theatre group. We attended many workshops. Later the group participated in a festival and they gave me the responsibility of making music for the theatre group. That was my first experience of arranging music for a drama. And now I can say as the ultimate destiny was towards music, which happened exactly - all the little wisdom I got in music has matured now.

AA: Would you please tell the necessity of academic education on Music?
SZ: Indeed, there are some people who are by birth very talented. Whatever this type of people do becomes good. The other section of people has passion and love for any particular thing. However, they do not know the proper way to go ahead. They need proper 'Guru' or 'Ustad'. Overall, I must say it is very necessary to study on Music.

AA: Why did you prefer Gazal much to other genres of music?
SZ: While I was studying in India I got an opportunity to have talim from Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan and Ustad Jawad Ali Khan, the grandsons of Ustad Bade Golam Ali Khan. To see the style of my voice they said Gazal or Thumri would fit my voice much. In our country, since the listeners are not used to listening to Thumri much I try to perform Gazal more than other genres. And moreover Gazal has very close attachments with literature, which attracts me much.

AA: What would like to say about fusion which has become a buzzword nowadays?
SZ: To do fusion it needs efficiency. Not knowing anything about different genres of music properly one must not go for a fusion. Mere mixing up songs is not fusion. The mingling of Indian Classical Music and a bit of African or Tango music together is not fusion at all. To understand fusion one can listen to the fusion composed by Ustad Zakir Hussain and John Mclaughlin  or the fusion made by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. About fusion I always go for their examples. Their experiences help them to create such remarkable fusions to give example. I'm not saying that budding musicians shouldn't go for experiments, but they have to keep keen eyes on aesthetics. Anyone can do fusion but in an aesthetic way.

AA: Those were very wonderful moments that you have shared the details about your mission, vision and upcoming works for our Bangladeshi Music. The Asian Age is thankful to you as you gave some moments.
SZ: I'm also grateful to you that you have taken my interview on behalf of The Asian Age. I'm wishing your every success. Through you I would like to convey my greetings to readers of The Asian Age and listeners of mine. Thank you very much.

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