Various Artists: Murshidi and Sufi Songs (Arc Music)

 |   |  <1 min read

Orey Gurur Choron Korey Shoron
 Various Artists: Murshidi and Sufi Songs (Arc Music)

Although we might describe these field recordings as more worthy and important than they are repeat-play items and essential on the shelf, they are deserving of our attention.

Deben Bhattacharya -- who died in 2001 -- captures the musical tradition of the Sufi so ancient as to be unfathomable, and so profoundly moving it is timeless.

Bhattacharya was a pioneering world music documentarian, and an assiduous researcher, photographer and performer. His recorded and filmed music, poetry and dance – historic, religious and contemporary – of numerous minority communities in Europe and across the Indian subcontinent.

In the year of his death in Paris, director Stephane Jourdain filmed Music According to Deben Bhattacharya about the old man's return to Bangladesh where he was recording the spiritual and instructive music of the Murshidis whose history emerged centuries ago out of Sufism.

This album collects all of those field recordings of the poetic, inspirational songs of devotion which Bhattacharya got on tape in various locations. The sound quality is, surprisingly, very good indeed and the excellent -- as always with ARC Music -- liner notes, lyric translations and footnotes confirm this as an important document for subsequent researchers. Or even those just curious enough to immerse themselves in it.

And it is enjoyable and instructive as the singers reach for the divine, that place perhaps almost always beyond the reach of mortal man.

So a worthy album more than a recommended one, but highly worthy indeed. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music from Elsewhere articles index

Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan: Times of Maharajas (ARC Music)

Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan: Times of Maharajas (ARC Music)

As the liner notes to this album remind us, the time of the Maharajas was – for the elite of course – a world of opulent palaces and bejeweled kings and courtiers. Musicians would be... > Read more

Titi Robin: Kali Sultana (Filter/Shock)

Titi Robin: Kali Sultana (Filter/Shock)

Surprisingly, this French multi-instrumentalist (oud, guitar, anything with strings) hasn't previously appeared at Elsewhere, largely because his albums are in woefully short supply in New Zealand.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Danny McCrum

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Danny McCrum

Auckland singer-songwriter Danny McCrum has plenty of notches on the neck of his guitar: opening for Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck among them. But rather than bore you again with all his accolades... > Read more

JOHN COUSINS INTERVIEWED (1989): Taking time to explore time

JOHN COUSINS INTERVIEWED (1989): Taking time to explore time

We see time contracted so often in our lives -- soap operas telescoping weeks into minutes, sports events distiiled down to highlight packages -- that it is sometimes hard to accept the longer... > Read more