Music: Diganta Sarma
Folk songs have their own charm. They grow at their own pace, and then refuse to leave once they fall on your ears. And, perhaps thats one of the reasons why composers like A R Rahman and many others (Shantanu Moitra, Sneha Khanvalkar (Oye Lucky Oye, LSD) use folk references in their compositions, and travel to interiors of India. The references maybe in the vocals they use, or arrangements of the instruments. But having said that, folk music which is used in bollywood is too processed or 'commercially adulterated'. So where does one hear an aesthetic balance of both folk and contemporary?
Perhaps, no artistes are producing such material, and no labels are backing it - but that would be an old rant because I did stumble upon something that was likable, and was done for the love of music. The album I speak about here is called 'Echoing Hills of Borail Range' produced by All India Radio (Haflong).
The album titled Echoing Hills of Borail Range is an instrumental album that attempts to present Indian Folk, Indian classical and Western music in an aesthetic way. And having produced by a radio station (AIR), this attempt is certainly laudable since it encourages and popularizes local music. I wonder, if AIR across India starts producing such albums, it can give impetus to Indian folk musicians and local talent
If you are expecting an elaborate album with a dozen songs, you won't get any as the album features just four songs. The good part about the album is that it will appeal to even those who are not familiar with folk music â€“ thanks to the tasteful folk, classical, and western arrangements. The instrumentals are based on popular folk songs by Zeme, Kuki, Harangkhoi and Dimasa tribes. For instance, in the first song 'Journey by the Valley', which is based on Zeme Folk song, you'll find some jazzy keyboard work, and, at the same time the traditional folk chorus, bells, strings and percussions. The highlight of this song is its engrossing bamboo flute solo â€“ unfortunately, the CD doesn't mention the name of the musicians, but it's great work nevertheless.
The experimentation with folk melodies continues through the second song Rain on the Poppie. The melody instantly throws you back into the misty North Eastern hills. This song is based on Kuki Folk,