Acharya Jayanta Bose: A confluence of art forms into music

Posted by Kaahon Desk On January 26, 2018

Acharya Jayanta Bose is a versatile singer, musician and composer of Bengal. Hailing from a family of renowned musicians he began his career as a harmonium soloist and as an accompanist he had worked with many great singers. He is also a poet and tabla player. He sings both Indian Classical and light classical and experiments with Semi-Classical songs and North Indian Classical vocals. He has created numerous experimental vocal and tabla symphonies, classical orchestras and music arrangements, tunes of experimental songs and has toured extensively in India and abroad with his creations.

He talks about how music becomes the mode of communication and the relationship between theatre, recitation and Indian Classical music. Jayanta Bose points out how he uses the form of recital as a part of his performance. Indian Classical music, as a form, has always followed the established path and refused to accept any change. The practitioner and the listener, both mostly go by their reflex action developed towards this form of music. They both have become comfortable in their reactions to the music and this tendency does not really assist the form in growing and accepting newer ideas. Western Classical form on the other hand has always been welcoming newer concepts. In terms of sounding dynamics, it also explores a range of variations while Indian Classical maintains a middle ground which, at times, may become exhaustive. In order to introduce variety by using various stages of high and low tunes, he experiments with the Indian Classical music come in the form of theatricality and the process of creating a dialogue. Depending on the time available he may also lengthen or shorten portions of his performances in Classical music domain.

Acharya Jayanta Bose also talks about the difference between an entertainer and an artist. He believes that an entertainer is someone who caters to the requirements of his consumers while the artist caters only to his or her own motivations. The artist, under any condition must not appear rich and if he does then the intrinsic quality of a creator is fundamentally transformed. Thus, the artist must have a patron who would be able to support the basic needs for pursuing the art practice. The art work must have a purpose in society. It is not to say that art is needed only for the purpose of protest but also to create good emotions in people that inspire them to do good works. Because the artist creates his own path, there is always a great potential for uniqueness. The artwork is a way so that the artist and the audience may journey together. It is the responsibility of the audience to decide whether to take up this journey or not. The audience may not know the intricacies of the craft but they must prepare themselves to learn and appreciate it. He also explains how he defines reyaz and sadhana. According to him, reyaz in its most beautiful form becomes sadhana and by breaking the word sadhana into two parts as sadh (desire) and na (no/absence) he explains sadhana as the absence of desire. It can only be achieved when the artist, in the absence of desire, does not ask for any return reward.

He speaks about the visual collages that he has created, the process of creating them and how he perceives sounds. Sound has different shapes, sizes and even colours and they create a unique world. Acharya wishes to create a collage out of these sounds. Sound is not a structured or scripted language. It is really like gesticulation. If a visual carries sound then the audience automatically interpret the sound as something that explains the image and more often than not, the image becomes complementary to the sound and it also tends to give the sound a physical representation. In the visual collages that he creates, both the sound and image exist simultaneously as independent entities. They neither complement nor complete each other. They both contain independent narratives within them. Any particular sound or image can ensnare the listener/viewer and their interpretation of these sound and image become inspired by the narratives contained within them. In his visual collages what the audience is offered is the possibility to become the viewer of the sound and the listener of the image. Here the processes of creating narrative/s are thus multilayered. For Acharya Bose, this is what the real cinema is. The viewer/listener must be a part of the narrative, living within it rather than experiencing it externally.

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