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Somali Panda, a name in World Music, who has with her honest efforts tried to beautify the notes of mysticism, would give us an insight into the sur and taal of her life and her love for World Music. Settled in Kolkata and yet rooted to Assam, she revives the music which is so different and unique.

As I entered her home, the main attraction for me was her music room that was festooned with all kinds of musical instruments. Greeting me with a cup of tea, we both sat for the journey that for me was an exhilarating experience, and here is a part of the knowledge I gathered from her.


Poulami: Good Evening! Your music room is really nice – a complete ambiance for music.

Somali Panda (SP): Thanks dear, this room is dedicated to Maa Saraswati and she resides here to bless me through.


Poulami: Along with your vocal cord, your umbilical cord is rooted to Assam. How?

SP: Yes, I am both from Assam as well as North Bengal. Dhubri is my paternal house. Pritinath Jaoddar (From Guwahati) who was the first guru of Begum Parveen Sultana (from Dhubri as well), was my guru.


Poulami: You belong to a particular genre of music, right? Tell us about it.

SP: It’s WORLD MUSIC and everything is included in it. Jazz, Flaminco, Kabbalah and many other forms of music are a part of it, which are the source of call for mysticism.


Poulami: World Music is so different from other forms of Music. Why did you choose?

SP: First factor has been my guruji, he is my Godfather. He taught me to look at things without glasses. Every kind of music is good but what I learnt from him is TOTALITY, i.e. to add something to everything. When I explored the notes of the different forms of World music I found that high pitch notes are required to call out the Spiritual Lord. When I tried finding about the forms which have high pitch notes, I realized that all mystical forms of music have high notes.


Poulami: What is your moto in life?

SP: India is rich in culture since time immemorial. I want to speak out the glory of our nation. Greece and India are at par in Science, Philosophy and Maths. World music says that smiles are different but the cry is same. The youths must understand this.


Poulami: You have traveled far and wide for your shows; do you think people of India can connect to World Music easily?

SP: Demand of world music is high everywhere but for different reasons. You can touch people’s soul. If the audience is an ensemble of young people they would love to be lost with a sufi number with its passion andrhythm. If the audience is a classy one you can touch them with the powerful notes and classical pattern. If the audience is a collection of simple rural folk you can touch them with the folk element and simplicity. This is the power of world music. And if you think you do have a particular message to impart as an artist you just can ‘manipulate’ your audience with the power of the form. You can definitely unite them with the dialect of music.


Poulami: How can you connect Indian music to western forms of music?

SP: Basically my point is people everywhere share the basic emotion and thought process. So, everywhere music originated from religion or basic sense of good and bad. And everywhere in the world the music or poetry initiated from oral tradition. We have‘Palagan’, ‘Kirtan’, ‘Yatra’ and in Europe ‘Opera’. Till date in Africa, too, the oral tradition is very much vibrant.


Poulami: Your message to the YOUTHS of Northeast?

SP: You know, I belong to Northeast so I know the simple unbound treasure they have. They have the simple melody of the nature and the rocky hard life they have for every day. I can relate the music of north east to Celtic or Irish country music. I just wish my brothers sisters of the region to be proud of the naturally rich notes they have and to sing out loud to the whole world.


Poulami: Thank you Somali for your lovely time.

SP: Thank you too and your team of ‘The Mileage’, hope to read more good editions. You all are doing very well with the content and quality. Likes and more Likes!


You can connect to Somali Panda:

WORDPRESS: http://somalipanda.wordpress.com/

EMAIL ID:somalipanda@gmail.com


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