Connoisseurs of Assamese songs have more to look forward to from the era of the gramophone records.
Mukutar Mala, literally meaning string of pearls, is a collection of eight Assamese songs uploaded on YouTube by none other than Umananda Dowerah, whose Moranhat Gramaphone Record Museum houses more than 5000 records, some of rare compositions.
The songs uploaded on YouTube in this collection have been sung by his niece, Dipalima Dowerah Chaliha, an approved artiste of modern songs of All India Radio, Dibrugarh. The mixing has been done by Diganta Bordoloi and programming by Tezoswie Dowerah.
The album contains the yesteryear hits–Aru nobojaabi bin botoruwa by Shiva Prasad Bhattacharjya (1948), Mor ghomoti bhagehi by Anandiram Das 1939, Iman dhuniya mukutar mala by Tariquddin Ahmed (1948), Kuli mato kiyo baare baare by Nirmal Majumdar (1948), Junakor jeuti by Gopal Charan Sharma (1936), Tumi mor henguli asha by Nirmal Majumdar and Kalpana Baruah (1952), Asoma Nirupoma jononi by Prafulla Chandra Baruah (1924) and O Rupohi by Shiva Prasad Bhattacharjya (1948).
Dowerah said he had randomly selected the songs from albums released between 1924 and 1952.
“Many of these songs are by male singers but do not sound odd when sung by a female. We have kept the tune and lyrics intact and added a bit to the music. If earlier only the tabla and harmonium were used we have now added the guitar and keyboard,” he said.
Dowerah said that earlier eight other songs, sung by Dipalima, of the same period including the first Assamese song on a gramophone record, Phulu phulile Jonbaie hahile by Prafulla Chandra Baruah had been released in a CD named Bolise Moloya baa…
“I am doing this in batch so that the people can listen to the gems from the past as well as make our present generation aware of the vast treasure trove of lyrics and melodies generated in this region” he said.
Dowerah further said that he could not upload the originals because of copyright hassles. “I am doing the nearest thing to bring these immortal songs back to the people by not remixing them in any way,” he further said.
Dowerah said that the CD and the YouTube songs could be listened to free of cost.