Yesterday, in Mumbai, actress Sharmila Tagore – who’s related to him a few generations down and sideways – launched a book on the work of legendary poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore – “Shades of Difference: Selected Writings of Rabindranath Tagore”.
Hearing about that this morning reminded us of London’s latest homage to Tagore from this summer. Electric sarod player extraordinaire and composer Soumik Datta collaborated with vocalist and filmmaker (and his mum) Sangeeta Datta to launch Anant (Endless), an collection of Tagore’s songs and poems. With translations into Hindi by none other than Javed Akhtar – referred to in reverence by many as the ‘Wizard of Words’- and lovely music from some of London’s most exciting names such as pianist Zoe Rahman, percussionist Bernard Schimpelsberger, and of course Soumik himself. It’s an exciting fusion of old and new, verse and chord, and the political and personal across geographies and generations.
The album launched in July at the Hampsead Town Hall to a full house of poetry, songs, and celebrity with a performance by the Datta mother-son duo, and readings by Javed Akhtar and his activist/actor wife Shabana Azmi. You can listen to the album jukebox here.
Once Shades of Difference: Selected Writings of Rabindranath Tagore becomes available online, we’ll add the link here.
Posted: 13 November 2015