Interview | SOMNATH DASGUPTA (SHOM) - Poet, Composer of AMI BUDHIN BOLCHI talks to WBRi and writes about his path-breaking album

Shomnath Dasgupta - Ami Budhin BolchiApril 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Shomnath Dasgupta, or Shom, is a poet, lyricist and composer and writes about his recent album "Ami Budhin Bolchi". Also, Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Shom in an informal video interview (above).

Though obviously influenced by David Gilmour (particularly The Division Bell) and a young Roger Waters, the album is a landmark in Bengali music in that it is one of the first "concept" albums in which the tracks are thematically woven together in an attempt to transmit a story and a message from the poet-composer to the listener. The compositions and the album itself are in the style of psychedelic and socio-politically critical albums that defined alternative and rock music around the middle of the last century which eventually morphed into techno-ambiance and even trance-electronica of today as one offshoot, with the other offshoot continuing to be mainstream satirical and self-critical rock music. The revolution ushered in by bands like Hawkwind, Pink Fairies and Pink Floyd (of course!) and later by composers like Amon Tobin and Aphex Twin delivering thematic electronic sound-scapes has reached the shores of Bengal in the form of Shom's "Ami Budhin Bolchi". Shom's album is themed around the world of a tribal boy named Budhin Mahato, and features elocutionary contributions by Soumitra Chattopadhyay and Pradip Chatterjee and guitars by Amyt Dutta.

Somnath Dasgupto alias Som writes about his cultural journey and his debut album Ami Budhin Bolchi:


Press Play button to Listen to Audio Clips From Ami Budhin Bolchi online

Somnath Dasgupta - Ami Budhin Bolchi“On a wintry afternoon in a gigantic raj era guest house on Sevoke Road,I wrote my first poem which resembled much like a Neolithic scribbling embedded in eccentricities. We were about to embark on our journey to Paro, a sleepy place tucked away in picturesque Bhutan.

I was 16 probably when I wrote my first poem and with much expectation of aplomb told Ma about it. She was happy to note my differential inclination far away from football and cricket but she was equally apprehensive about the fact that such precipitous inclinations would lead me far away from school books!

I work for a living and I like my 10 to endless cause I like my job, its got in my veins but I am also passionate about anything that the mind can trigger.

I still and will weep for many people who still cant afford a pair of slippers on their feet and no clothes to shield winter no education no language but a fragile dream after 60 years of independence. I cry helplessly I don’t have much means to reach out and reach out to their dreams. One day I will.

I like Elliot and his amazing ways of playing with an idea, I like Ernesto’s motorcycle diaries too. I don’t remember how many times I have seen all of Ray’s film, I still believe that Ritwick Ghatak was less understood and way ahead of his times, I dream on Banalata Sen, Peter Gabriels numbers are like embedded in my system and so is Bhimsen Joshi and Bhismadeb Chatterjee. I wonder who created the first note and who played the six notes thereafter? Do we know that Guy? Was it Kalomoni’s great ancestors ???

I strongly believe that Music will soon change the world order from exclusive to inclusive, from surreal to real from dreams to action and I also believe that music is in all of us, our heartbeats and the streaming blood in our arteries create sounds and rhythm. I checked out in Google but couldn’t find at what speed blood travels in our system? Is it an uniform speed throughout or is it variable when pressure changes….the rhythm and sounds also travel like that in any composition. I guess God created eyes so that we could better gauge the source and behaviour of the emitting sound and accordingly orient ourselves. If there was no matter and only sounds from magnetic waves would we still require eyes ?

This is me and I am this.

So welcome to my first shot –“Ami Budhin Bolchi” . It doesn’t require a pin prick to get it in. It requires your passionate attention.

Welcome to the world of Budhin, welcome to the world of red soil, welcome to the world of endless lines of Sal, Shimul trees and the butterflies that amble around it.
Welcome to the world of Palash flowers blushing at you, welcome to the spirit of Budhin that’s equally equivalent and relevant whether you are in a village or a city I welcome you my friend to his world.

Let me know if you could strike a chord somewhere with him.”

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