Far yet actively connected to Bangladeshi music : In conversation with Chanchal Khan

Far yet actively connected to Bangladeshi music : In conversation with Chanchal Khan

Chanchal Khan has been away from Bangladesh for over two decades, as his past profession with the UN took him to places, thus depriving him of contributing to the arena of Rabindra Sangeet in Bangladesh as intimately as he would have wished to. Trained by exponents of Rabindra Sangeet, such as Sanjida Khatun, Zahidur Rahim, Wahidul Haque, and Debabrata Biswas in Kolkata, Chanchal Khan has been unusually passive in promoting himself. He is a ‘self-imposed prisoner’, as Abdul Ahad remarked once. Chanchal Khan owes his music pursuits to his friend for many years, Sadi Mohammad, an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet singer and a trainer who inspired Chanchal Khan to ‘return to music’ after a long pause. That was in the late ’80s. He has been a member of ‘Rabiraag’, a front-line Rabindra Sangeet institution in Bangladesh.

His long absence from Bangladesh has certainly put a dent in his music career but his passion for the art has not diminished. He has been training students and actively organising music groups, such as ‘Anondolok’ in Nepal and ‘Shurolok’ in Australia. Chanchal Khan has performed in USA, Australia, UK, Nepal, and India. He has performed in Shantiniketan, Kolkata and Dhaka, along with some of the front-runners in Rabindra Sangeet.

Chanchal Khan has seven albums to his credit, all released between 1990 and 2005. These are: Jugol Golaye Roibe Gantha (HM) with Jhuma Chattyopadhyay of Kolkata, Porobashe Chole Esho (UD series, Kolkata, directed by Dilip Rai), Shokol Rosher Dhara with Papia Sarwar (Soundtek, Dhaka), Gaan Elo Mor Mon-e (Commitment Products, Dhaka) and Prothomo Kodom Phul with Lily Islam (G Series, Dhaka).

Chanchal Khan has directed some Tagore plays as well, including Chitrangada, Shyama, Tasher Desh and Balmiki Pratibha, staged in Australia and USA. He also planned, directed and performed in an experimental venture based on Tagore’s Bidaye Abhishap.

Chanchal Khan feels that his music performance and training pursuits have grown manifold and he can concentrate in involving westerners in the mainstream Bangla music. His biggest regret remains missing the Pahela Boishakh, Baishey Srabon, Ekushey February and other national events in Bangladesh. However, he feels content that he was able to disseminate his teaching among the young generation of expatriate Bangladeshis.

When asked about his most remarkable achievement in the music arena, he mentioned the recognition from the UN in 1995 for introducing a campaign against drug abuse, using music as the medium. He conceptualised and jointly directed with Kishore Gurung (Nepal’s foremost music director) two albums Roshi Khola and Jibanko Lahar Haru (for youngsters and school children) for the campaign.

An accomplished development practitioner, Chanchal Khan conceptualised and directed a special collection of songs on the occasion of UN’s 50th anniversary (1995), titled Poverty is not our fate.

One of the tasks he would undertake while visiting Dhaka soon is to have the songs based on Shamsur Rahman and Jibanananda Das’ works recorded. He plans to direct the recording and hopes to have some prominent artistes render these songs.

The writer is a freelance contributor | Original Source courtesy of Daily Star | Link posted by Amin Rahman

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