Pankaj Mullick`s rare works on Tagore songs to be made public

Many unheard renditions and compositions of Tagore songs by Mullick, will soon be available for the first time in public domain.

Updated: May 10, 2011, 13:37 PM IST

Kolkata: Many unheard renditions and compositions of Rabindrasangeet (Tagore songs) by the legendary musician Pankaj Kumar Mullick, who was the only person allowed by the poet to set tune to his verses, will soon be available for the first time in public domain.

Run by the Dadasaheb Phalke awardee`s grandchildren, the Pankaj Mullick Music and Art Foundation has taken up the initiative to release around 3000 never-heard-before songs from the family`s private collection in a series of albums later this year.

"He gave tunes to a number of songs, including those of Tagore. Besides, he also sang a number of Tagore verses. Thousands of such songs, recorded in private, were never released as albums due to various reasons. But now we have already restored his 300 songs from our collection," Jhinuk
Gupta, a spokesperson for the foundation, told reporters.

It is said that when Tagore heard Mullick sing one of his verses `Diner Sheshey Ghumer Deshey`, the `bard` hugged him and told him that he was free to set tune to those writings of his which he would not be able to accomplish during his lifetime.

Mullick was the first music director who introduced Rabindrasangeet successfully in films like `Mukti` by unleashing the magic of Tagore`s songs.

The 1905-born music composer, singer, music director and teacher had composed over 5,000 songs in his 50-year-old career. He had recorded his first song when he was only 18.

By giving Mullick`s notations a touch of modern musical instruments, his family is giving the rare repertoire a contemporary feel to please the ears of the modern generation.

The first such audio CD, to be released soon, would be the sound-track of the dance-drama `Avishar`, which was scripted by the music maestro based on Tagore`s epic poem of the same name.

The album comprises the poem `Avishar` in the form of a song, set to tune by Mullick, along with quite a few Rabindrasangeets.

Besides Mullick, the songs in the album have also been rendered by Jhinuk, who is also the late musician`s granddaughter-in-law.

The foundation also plans to publish 103 songs from the Nobel-winning `Gitanjali` accompanied by the recitation of their English counterparts.

Some of the songs will be in the voice of the musical genius himself.

Another album `Kindred Spirits` will carry hitherto unpublished `Rabindrasangeets` in 5-6 volumes.

"To popularise Rabindrasangeet outside West Bengal, he composed in Hindi and even Gujarati and Tamil languages," Jhinuk pointed out.

Besides, some unpublished patriotic songs, to which the musician had either given his voice or tunes, and his rendition of private recordings for Hindi film and basic songs constitute the vast body of his unreleased creations.

"We want all his works to reach his fans, but releasing thousands of songs need huge amount of money. We are depending on sponsorships and donations to help us," she said.