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 articles index

Slim Ali and the Hodi Boys: 70s Soul!

Slim Ali and the Hodi Boys: 70s Soul!

This interesting collection proves that sometimes the frontman is the least of it. Here it is all about the band.  In the late Sixties, Slim Hodi from Mombassa adopted the soulful style... > Read more

Sari Gelin Ensemble: Music of Azerbaijan (Elite)

Sari Gelin Ensemble: Music of Azerbaijan (Elite)

The music of Central Asia has featured on Elsewhere previously, notably with the excellent Smithsonian Folkways series (see tags) which come with fascinating DVD mini-films. This is can be... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Meehan, Griffin, Chisholm: Small Holes in the Silence (Rattle)

Meehan, Griffin, Chisholm: Small Holes in the Silence (Rattle)

Music and poetry have a long association, even if we might just start with Jack Kerouacreading On the Road to the accompaniment of Steve Allen's piano in the late Fifties. Then there were the... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . JANDEK: Stranger in an even stranger land

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . JANDEK: Stranger in an even stranger land

In his very interesting 2001 book about cult figures and outsider musicians Songs in the Key of Z, Irwin Chusid had chapters on some figures (Wild Man Fischer, Syd Barrett, Florence Foster Jenkins,... > Read more