Singing Tagore


On the 30th of November, the sound of the sarod and the tabla graced Brechemin Auditorium at the University of Seattle as a group of musicians got together to sing and celebrate the musical legacy of Rabindranath Tagore.

The Bengali polymath visited Seattle in the autumn of 1916, his first stop on a tour of America.

The event began with an introduction to Tagore and his work by visual artist and writer Donald Fels, followed by sound artist and composer Robert Millis playing two records of Tagore reading his own poetry.

The stage was then given over to the group of talented musicians whose dulcet tunes and rapturous ragas enlivened the night. On the sarod was Raja Ray, and Deepashri Joglekar was behind the harmonium, while Shailendra Upadhye’s tabla struck magic throughout the concert.

The program began with ‘Aamar Mukti Aaloy Aaloy’ sung by the musicians as a group in a beautifully lilting Kedar. Saswati Pal followed with raag Bihag, singing ‘Aami Keboli Swapono Korechhi Bapono.’ Next up, Anandamoy Bhattacharya sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Godhuli Gagone Meghe’ in a blend of raga Kedar and Chayant. Swati Banerjee next sung ‘Aaji e Anandasandhya’ in raag Purvi, followed by ‘E Ki Labonye Purno Praano’ by Siddharta Pal in raag Mahishuri. Deepa Banerjee then captivated us with a stunning Yaman, singing ‘Dnaariye Aachho Tumi…’ The virtuosos then regrouped for a final group performance, ending with a touching raag Desh rendition of ‘Eso Shyamalo Sundaro.’ The concert ended in much-deserved applause, with post-performance pictures and tete-a-tete that was as joyous as the music that graced the night.