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Imagine nomads in quilted alkhallas (long loose robes), strumming ektaras (single stringed drone guitars) in the Sufi-Baul[1] tradition on the streets of Chicoutimi, Québec! “Goley malé goley malé Pirit koro na!” Don’t mess around with love, because it will mess your life up: one of the most famous Baul songs from India.

Well, it almost happened! Instead, when Mosaïque from Québec journeyed to Kolkata (Bengal, India) to present two joint concerts with Surojit and his band Surojit O Bondhura,[2] there was one question on everyone’s lips: what made Surojit, one of the top musicians from West Bengal, go all the way to Québec and associate with a band there? Instead of trying to explain himself in words, Surojit let Mosaïque showcase its music in a major press conference and two subsequent concerts in Kolkata itself. A magic web had been spun on stage through this sharing of each other’s music. It was the music produced by Mosaïque and its philosophy that deeply touched Surojit, and left an impact on him. A bond had been created between Québec and Bengal.

Surojit went to Saguenay, Québec to be with Mosaïque in 2006, 2008 and 2013, enjoying himself in impromptu jam sessions, exploring different sounds and participating in formal concerts. While preparing for the three major concerts in 2013, Surojit was struck with a strong desire to produce a new album to share Mosaïque’s magic with a wider audience. The first tracks were laid while he was in Québec in August 2013. The work on the album continued on both sides of the world, connected through the Net. However, Surojit in his fondest dreams saw Mosaïque and Surojit O Bondhura on the stage together in Kolkata. His dream came true in January 2015. The two bands, steeped in music and friendship, spent four weeks putting the final touches on the album Folk Fusion: a fusion of minds and hearts.

Surojit often mentioned that one of the facets of Mosaïque that appealed to him was its dedication to music and its adventurous spirit of exploring rhythms from far and near. Although his contribution to the music of Bengal is through his songs crafted in Bengali, it did not deter Mosaïque musicians from being drawn to him, and as Surojit mentions in one of his postings on Facebook: “Music has only one language: MUSIC.”

Although Surojit has produced several albums, prepared musical scores for a number of movies and won several prizes, he feels that this album with Mosaïque is something special. The album is now available online on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/id1039452841) and will be eventually available on other platforms as well. Surojit O Bondhura is perhaps the only band in India that has ever given rise to a flourishing poetry club (Surojit O Bandura Kobita Club) with about 10,000 members, to promote and share the works of established as well as new performers and artists.

 

www.kobitaclub.com

 

[1] Mystic minstrels from rural Bangladesh and the state of Bengal (India)

[2] Translated into English, this means “Surojit and Friends”