Torch Bearer: Monit Paul (Sarod): Morning Melody

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Morning Melody

Monit Paul is a Sarodiya of the revered Senia Bangas Gharana made famous by the charismatic legend of Sarod Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and his father, the doyen Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Sahab.

Monit had made his first stride into the world of music at the age of 6 under the tutelage of Pt. Kalyan Mukherjea of Senia Maihar Gharana, who is a senior disciple of Ustad Bahadur Khan Sahab. Under the strict guidance, Monit started playing Sarod at a tender age, and also achieved the CCRT Scholarship when he was a mere schoolboy. His quest for the divine music got nurtured over the years to follow. He qualified through various competitions all over Bengal. He also presented his music in Doordarshan and in the AIR.
At present, he is taking Taleem under the guidance of the Sarod exponent Pt DEBOJYOTI BOSE of the Senia Bangas Gharana, and this is his first encounter with the style. He has aligned himself quite well with the new Gharana marked by the intricate expressions of Lasya with enhanced Tansargam and of course, Ekhara that is the forte of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Currently Monit Paul is a known name across various states and musical conferences in India. He also lends his music to certain other art-forms including theatre.

In this debut album presented by Chaitya Patrika, he is accompanied on Tabla by Sri Rohen Bose. Rohen too, apart from being a Torchbearer of the Benaras Gharana as a disciple and nephew of Pt. Kumar Bose, the elder brother of Rohen’s father Pt. Debajyoti Bose, is a versatile musical talent with some serious contributions in music and its documentation.

This album presents two morning Ragas, both are rather less popular among the players of plucking string instruments. Nobody, apart from a really daring one, or a maestro has ever attempted these two Ragas, or accomplished successful renditions.

  1. Nat Bhairav, a Raga that is relatively new and still transient in its phrasal forms and emotional content with diverse interpretations among the different schools and styles. Because of this transient nature, not many maestros even would try Nat Bhairav often. Monit Paul has rendered here an elaborate replication of the Senia Bangas interpretation of the Raga.
  2. Desi (or, Desi Todi that is a misnomer), which is particularly a favourite among the vocalists or the musicians with instruments that can imitate certain vocal nuances. It’s indeed a Herculean task for a Sitar or Sarod player to bring out the pure flavour of Desi. However, we present here Monit’s (and his school’s) take on this particularly pluck-unfriendly Raga, and he has done well at the end of the day. The Gat here is a rare one, and is a feast for the listener’s ears.

Chaitya Patrika will keep on digging the rare gems out, and promoting the deserving young artists.

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