Music is a connection that brings people from different walks of life together. It is a way to connect the heart with hearts. It is a medicine for the soul. That’s why great scientists like Albert Einstein had a dream to be a musician. Albert Einstien was once quoted saying, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music”.
World Music Day is being celebrated across the globe on June 21, Tuesday. The day was first celebrated in 1982 when France’s minister of culture Jack Lang and French composer Maurice Fleuret together landed on the concept of celebrating the World Music Day.
As the world celebrates Music Day today, here is what powerhouse performers who made Odisha proud at national-level have to say about their bonding with music and how music has transformed their lives...
Priyanka Mitra, who has sung duets with well-known singers such as Shaan, Amit Kumar, Javed Ali, Jolly Mukherjee, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Vinod Rathod, Udit Narayan, Usha Uthup, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Pyarelal and Sameer at over 1,000 shows, says, “Music for me, in short, engulfs my whole life. I believe I was born for music. It has been a constant companion since my birth, and is that one thing, that will never leave me behind. Music is my way of expression. I use the language of music to express my thoughts and vent out, and I believe, it makes me a better individual.”
How music has changed your life? To this she says, “The magic of music has made me much more composed, keeps me grounded. The vastness of music, when compared to us mere mortals, is way above our ego, pride and arrogance. Music has given me a new way of perception of life and given me a new outlook, which otherwise I would probably have been unaware of.”
Odisha-born playback Singer Arpita Chakraborty who delivered hits like Paisa Ye Paisa from the movie Total Dhamaal, says “Music is defined differently for each individual. It is the universal language that speaks to us all, but in different ways. It is one of the few genres that can instantly transport a person back to the past. Music is also an art of sound which expresses ideas, thoughts, and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony. It is the design of giving structural form and rhythmic pattern to combinations of sounds produce instrumentally and vocally. To me, music brings a sense of calmness, happiness, and peacefulness. Music is the absolute food of life because it feeds my soul. I was raised up in a Musical Family. My Mother Guru Smt Tapati Chakraborty was a Hindustani Classical exponent. I remember my parents playing music all the time and my mom introduced and taught me various subjects like Hindustani Classical, Bhav Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Odissi Classical. I was introduced to Sufi Music, Bhajans, Nirgun Bhajans, Ghazals, Classical and Contemporary Music right from an early age of four.”
She continues: “In summary, music is the food of life that feeds my soul. It is the only language that I feel is universally recognized and ultimately understood. It takes me back to the past, whether it is good or bad, but it also brings me back to the present state. Most of all music heals me in so many ways like being calm, happy, and at peace. Music is indeed, truly spiritual.”
Recalling an anecdote, she says, “I was performing in one of the Bhajan Mahotsavs as a child when legendary music director Prafulla Kar was judging the event. After my performance, he came and spoke to my mother saying ‘Your daughter has a bright future’ and then he invited me to perform at the biggest Puri Bhajan festival which had lakhs of audience. When I was on the stage, and sang in front of the massive crowd, that incident gave me confidence as an artist and changed my life completely.”
Abhijeet Mishra, who has carved a niche in Hindi album, industry says, “Music for me is a way to escape from all difficulties in life. It connects me with the supreme soul. With whatever little knowledge of music I have, I try to go into a trance while working on any project.”
He added: “Music has changed my life right from my childhood. I was introduced to music at a very early stage as I belong to a musician family. At when I took music professionally I get motivated when listeners love my music and my singing. I get compliments like you have touched our hearts. It's a very special feeling in the world when one's art has an impact on the society.”
Odisha-born Mukund Dev is a young and dynamic exponent of the Dhrupad style of singing, the most ancient genre of Indian classical music.
Dhrupad is the oldest tradition of Hindustani music of the Indian sub-continent. Born and brought up at Karanjasol, a nondescript village of Bhograi block in Balasore district, Mukund Dev is known as Odisha’s only nationally known Dhrupad singer. He has also set up Dhrupad Music Foundation in Bhubaneswar to promote the style.
For him, “Music is the worship of Naad Brahm where there is no bigotry. Indian classical music is above all caste, religion and difference. It is its own union with Suddha Naad (Purest form of Sound), hence it is called Nada Yoga. Whatever pain I have in my life with Dhrupad Sangeet Sadhana, it takes away all the pain and Just as the infinite ocean keeps the fish alive in its womb, similarly this ocean of infinite music has kept me alive in its own womb, away from all dualities.”