CD Album: Kalam (a Jiwan Shahi presentation); Genre: Modern; Solo Lyricist: Basanti Shahi; Solo Music-composer: Raju Singh; Total Run Time: 46.60 minutes; No. of songs: 7 (+2 music tracks); Price: NRs. 225/-.
ACLASSY album has resulted when established music-composer Raju Singh teamed up with debutante lyricist Basanti Shahi and got popular young singers to croon the songs.
Interestingly, in their album ‘Kalam,’ composer Raju Singh has endeavoured to dish out music not only for ‘class’ but also for the ‘mass.’ Earlier, his music is known for particularly targeting a class of music connoisseurs with purportedly ‘complicated’ music.
In a number of compositions, listeners can have a relish of ‘East Meets West.’ In ‘Shaharko thulo,’ 4/4 Boso-nova Santana beats (of the West) have been fused to a tinge of Raga Desh of the East. Composed with the gambit on E-minor scale, the track has intermittent pauses, and twists of notes which singer Swaroop Raj Acharya has emulated. By virtue of its ‘Western’ component, the track also reminds of the music of ‘Eagles’ of yore.
However, it’s not understandable why the lyricist has shifted her pen from the pronoun of ‘he’ to ‘you.’ The pronoun inconsistency is likely to confuse listeners.
‘Kun saino-le,’ a Sufi-based track, has melodic scale on D-major. Singer Shiva Pariyar has carried well the notes based on ‘Raga Tibra’ as well as those tinged with ‘Raga Joga,’ so that the soft-melodies are in harmony with the Sufi-oriented high pitches. The 4/4 tempo formatted on what is known as ‘Tritaal’ has forged a smooth flow. This sentimental number creates an aura of fusion music.
‘Haatko Kalam,’ an Anju Pant rendition, is peppy with the folk-music flavour that sports a set of 6/8 beats (or Khemta Taal). Its melodic notes are based on ‘Pahadi Raga’ comprising softness on major chords.
Discerning Nepali music listeners may wallow in nostalgia of legendary Natikaji when listening to Reema Gurung Hoda’s ‘Kina hola’. It’s a blues-based composition which features a waltz format and resembles the ‘Dadara Taal’ (¾beats) of the East. The way the composer has applied the major scales can remind listeners of the Natikaji music. The composition also has good application of ‘harmonic counters.’
Sprightly ‘Baiguni ta’ is a ‘Qawwali’ number formatted in a rhythmic set of 6/8 beats (or Khemta Taal). With the influences of ‘Raga Malakosh,’ its notes make the gambit on F-minor. Pramod Kharel sounds good even on complicated notes and punches.
Sentimental ‘Baiguni-ko yaadma’ belongs to a typical modern song genre. Nisha Deshar’s vocal rendition reveals agony and bafflements of a broken heart. The composer has well applied the influence of ‘Raga Yaman’ to render a heart-wrenching track. Such a tragic number could sound better if the punches of percussion instruments were softened.
In ‘Taadha’ there’s the influence of ‘Raga Bhairavi,’ which the Eastern Classical Music recognises as the concluding ‘Raga’ at any music-session. It showcases melodic minors with the gambit on D-minor scale. Singer Manoj Raj has emoted well with the pathos of sentimental lyrics.
The album has not relied heavily on synthesisers; it’s something appreciable as many songs in the tinsel town sound irritating with plangent gadgets. The team here has made use of acoustics of original instruments ranging from percussion (Pramod Upadhyay) to Israj (Santosh Bhakta Shrestha), solo violin (Robin Dhali), guitars (Deepak Thapa, Sachin Singh) and flute (Gopal Ghatani).
Lyricist Basanti Shahi, who hails from remote Humla district, has emerged as a potential love-song writer. If she continued writing with more sincerity and perseverance, she could have rosier days ahead.
Maharaja Thapa’s music arrangement and Anil Sthapit’s CD design may be described as beautiful. The album has not let down the listeners by printing not only the lyrics but also guitar chords overleaf the album-cover.