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When LALAN FAKIR says "Shahoj manush bhoje dekh na re mon dibbya gyane ",he reinforces the Baul philosophy that true realization of the divine comes from spiritual experience of love. And for the Bauls of Bengal that experience is found only in the present moment of existence. Through their music Brahma Khyapa aims to advocate just that.
Brahma Khyapa is actually Brahma and Khyapa together - MALABIKA BRAHMA and SANJAY BHATTACHERJEE. In Baul Sadhana,the man and wife are considered as one unit. Brahmakhyapa's music is a journey that speaks of human life much like the Baul does through his different philosophies which govern the soul and the body. Brahmakhyapa has realized this through their experiences. A journey into the heart of these traditions provided them a first-hand view of the culture that lies beneath. For years they have been traveling all along Bengal
in different festivals, Melas, Akharas, and Ashrams trying to study and understand the feel and flavour of the songs. Brahmakhyapa believes that this music cannot be learnt without a guru since there is a deep philosophy hidden inside these songs which are allegorical. Its also an expression of emotions which is very similar to Blues and Jazz music and that is where the Duo form a larger band and weave in Western Rhythms to lend a fresh style to the transcendent charm of folk music. While the songs are essentially Indian, like apart from Baul, Brahmakhyapa also does Tamil spiritual songs, North Indian music like KABIR's dohas and BRAHMANANDA's bhajans, the music follows the path of Jazz/Blues and Indian Clasical makes its presence felt in the use of scales and breaks based on Ragas and tehais.
Brahma, Paul Jacob, Khyapa
The couple feels that Baul has always been popular in rural Bengal and the urban audience is yet to get the true essence of this genre. Many would reason that today Bauls are going International but as far as music is concerned it is mostly underground even abroad. So the desire is to popularise this folk tradition of Bengal among the present generation and bring those songs of earth to the fore.
Debdas Kaka, Susheela and Brahma
Brahmakhyapa organized the first ever Baul Fakir Utsav in Kolkata in the year 2004.The SHYAMSUNDAR BAUL FAKIR UTSAV was unique in its own way. Music continued for 48 hours, almost 80 bauls, Fakirs and Sadhus participated along with Calcutta city musicians. The entire utsav was funded by donations that kept pouring in through local people and musicians.
Their concerts are quite interesting and unique as they feature a number of bauls and fakirs along with urban musicians. The Duo has been working with a lot of well known musicians for years. Veteran maestros like SUBAL DAS BAUL, TINKARI CHAKRABORTY, PABANDAS BAUL, GOLAM FAKIR, GOUR KHYAPA are some of the names. In the same way Brahmakhyapa has been able to bring many unknown talents to th fore to name a few RAJUDAS BAUL who is now working with bassist music producer PAUL JACOB. Brahmakhyapa uses a range of instruments both western and eastern like Ektara, Dotara, Khamak, Dubki, Khol, Mandira, Tabla, Dhol, Afro-Cuban and Latin Percussions and the Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar. As a music composer Brahmakhyapa keeps in mind that all the instruments can be played in one recital.
Deeply distrustful of compromising their music in order to commercialise the music, Brahmakhyapa's only creed is to popularise this folk tradition just to live the music. For them "LOVE..LIVE...LET LIVE" is the true essence of their philosophy.
Washington Bangla Radio is honored indeed to bring you this feature on Brahmakhyapa.
(Low Quality) Live Video of Brahma at Princeton Club, Kolkata::