Showcasing a multi-instrumental, soothing musical fusion through upholding the glory of Polli Kobi Jashimuddin’s captivating Bhatiyali lyrics, Coke Studio Bangla launched its sixth track of the second season titled “Nodir Kul” on Thursday night.
Simultaneously released across Coke Studio Bangla’s social and digital platforms on Facebook, YouTube and Spotify from the Chittagong Boat Club, the song is sung by Ripon Kumar Sarkar (Boga) and rearranged with a refreshing, pacifying composition by Coke Studio Bangla curator and producer Shayan Chowdhury Arnob.
Aside from the successful duo of Arnob and Boga from season one’s mesmerising track “Chiltey Roud”, the song featured a majestic clarinet performance by Idris Rahman, a Bengali-English clarinettist, saxophonist and record producer based in London.
Eminent flautist Jalal Ahmed, alongside Coke Studio Bangla’s diverse house band, also performed in the 9 minutes 22 seconds ode to the endless beauty of riverine Bangladesh. The track is originally written and composed by Polli Kobi Jashimuddin and sung by legendary singer Abbasuddin Ahmed.
A Bhatiyali song of its origin, “Nodir Kul” also features a unique blend of Kirtan - a genre of religious performance arts, connoting a musical form of narration or shared recitation, particularly of spiritual or religious ideas, native to the Indian subcontinent. “The fusion of ‘Kirtan’ and ‘Bhatiyali’ feels inseparable, representing the traditional, co-existing lifestyle of our community,” Coke Studio Bangla describes the motif behind the fusion.
Launching the song on the bank of the Karnafuli River in front of a live crowd, Arnob said that the song constantly switches between major and minor scales to capture and emphasize the uncertain character of the flowing river, which was vibrantly reflected in the original lyrics of Polli Kobi Jashimuddin. The shifting scales of the remastered fusion mirrored how the river behaved, fluctuating between calm and loudness, luminescence and shadow, prolifically presented by Boga through his magical voice.
Aside from the magical performances of Idris and Jalal, the track also features Shayan Chowdhury Arnob on piano and additional vocals, Sayonton Mangsang (clarinet, additional beat), Shuvendu Das Shuvo (guitarlele, vocals), Pradyut Chatterjea (keyboard), Faizan Rashid Ahmad (bass guitar), Wadid Mahmood (drums), Md Mobarak Hossain (mondira), Ashikul Islam Abir (esraj), Shounak Debnath Wreek (Sarengi) and Sunidhi Nayak, Rubayat Rehman and Jannatul Firdous Akbar as the back vocals.
However, seasoned percussionist Mithun Chakra with his hands on percussion and khol in this song created a masterful rhythm and mimicked a wavy and flowing river-alike sound using water as an instrument, something that signifies how the musicians have been experimenting with their crafts in the songs this season under the curatorial guidance of Arnob.
At the song-launching live event, Boga and Idris joined remotely and shared their sides of the story about how they got the opportunity to perform such a blissful song together. Arnob also played two of his iconic tracks; his much-popular fusion of the folk number “Haar Kala” and his cult-classic song “Tomar Jonno” for the live audiences, before launching the new song of Coke Studio Bangla’s ongoing second season.
“Nodir Kul” is one of the most popular poems-turned-Bhatiyali tracks penned by Polli Kobi Jashimuddin. However, even though this is the first time his song has been featured in Coke Studio Bangla, another of his most popular tracks titled “Aamay Bhashaili Rey” was performed by Bangladeshi-Pakistani singer Alamgir, alongside Fariha Pervez in the Sixth Season of Coke Studio Pakistan in 2013.