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Tribute to maestros

BIBHUTI MISHRA

Susmita Das has come out with a CD of masterpieces from brilliant composer Balakrushna Das' repertoire.



HER MASTER'S VOICE The CD album has vintage masterpieces from the maestro.

At a time when shoddy remixes and cacophonous numbers rule modern Oriya music, Susmita Das' tribute to Balakrushna Das in the form of a music CD comes as a whiff of fresh air. Balakrushna Das, the music maestro of Orissa, has become a legend in his own lifetime. A brilliant composer and a sensitive singer to boot, he brought moving melody into the music scene. Although he did remarkable work in Odissi music, his compositions in films have rarely been equalled for sheer melody, let alone surpassed.

Susmita, who has made a name for herself by presenting melodious numbers of yesteryears on various platforms, recreates that world of nostalgia by singing eight of the choicest old Oriya hits from films like Nabajanma, Amadabata, Nuabou, Adinamegha, Manikjodi, Shreeloknath and Kaa. She does a good job but one felt that she could have invested the numbers with more emotion as Balakrushna Das' compositions always thrive on the bhav. Besides, she falters in laya at times and the male voice that is not in the credits does not come up to mark.

But for the fact that the singer sometimes goes through the paces of the songs a bit mechanically instead of getting totally involved in the rendition to come up with a soulful singing, this is an effort worth kudos. However, the karaoke tracks are dispensable. More songs could have been a better gift for music connoisseurs.

A legend remembered

It has been truly said that we do not know the real value of people until they have undergone the tests of memory. One such person was the legendary singer-composer-lyricist Akshaya Mohanty. As a just tribute to this great fiction writer premier publishing house Media Orissa instituted a literary award, Akshaya Sahitya Samman, after his sad demise. The award is conferred on a noted writer on the late singer-writer's death anniversary and it is followed by singers - old and new - offering musical tribute to the maestro's memory in the festival Smruti Tume Akshaya.

It was the third such occasion this November 17 and what was special about this year's festival was that all those who were on stage and spoke on Akshaya Mohanty were closely associated with him. Dr. Prasanna Patsani, Sarat Chandra Mishra and even noted writer-poet Devdas Chhotray were amongst Mohanty's most intimate friends. This touching literary function was followed by a three-and-a-half-hour musical evening that featured up and coming singers from all over Orissa apart.

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