Monday, April 17, 2006

Playing Bengali Music with Amra Kojon

Charlie Parker wrote: “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.” This made sense to me and I thought I understood it, but then I played with Taposh.

This week during practice I felt the vibrations of thousands of years of songs and stories and wishes and rainstorms. When all the singers broke into the opening chorus, I recognized the passion in all their voices. Their bodies were gently swaying and mixed in with sweat and notes and foot-tapping then, there came some tears. At first they seemed to sneak out of her eyes, and then after playing hide-and-seek they poured out loud and joined the bellows of the music. Taposh noticed and without any hesitation he embraced her and he too began to cry. These were tears of joy, of memories, of possibilities, of days of hunger and days of plenty, of travelers, of friends, and of souls who know each other. After a few more seconds of music, others began to cry; they struggled to keep on singing with that lump in their throat. This I knew: the pain of losing someone, the passion of the first kiss and the excitement of the ones that will follow, the touch of renunciation, the smile of a stranger, the notes that my soul has been chanting for a millions of years. I stopped being a foreigner, a Colombian, an outsider; this I knew. And like that, the Bengali music was born in me.

Forget about the accents, the key signature, the scales, the bars, the measures, the patterns, the rigid ways of melodies; leave behind the structure of songs and let go of the mechanics and then, then you’ll be playing Bengali music with Amra Kojon. Like being found by the love of your life, who you’ve been searching for in silence all your days and nights, like holding her hand, like that, just right.

- David Upegui,
on behalf of Amra Kojon


At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Naina said...

I just got this email from Nadia, and wanted to share with you guys :)

"Here is a glimpse of our weekend rehearsals for April 22nd show... This past Saturday was particularly special and people seemed to connect on a different level with each and with themselves. All our hard work over the past weekends, and the passion culminated at a certain moment. David, who is going to play the clarinet with Nita Di's Lalon (folk) song, and will also inaugurate the event with his divine rendition, expressed what he felt when we all sang in chorus -- "Ami Banglay Gaan Gai" (I sing in Bangla, I always seek myself in Bangla...), with our hearts crying silently inside. He has written in words what I could never have expressed in any language ... I just wanted to share this little piece of love with each one of you...


At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been telling people here that the singing has improved from that of the 2003 show. Saturday's rehearsal really was a wake up call, and it did evoke nostalgia, passion and love. Beautifully put, David....and welcome to the family.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous naina said...

that was sohini's comment, just came out anonymous for some reason.


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