Imphal, July 1: After bands from abroad warmed up spring in Manipur with head-banging sessions, now is the time for melodious songs and instrumental from Manipur to soothe minds in the hot summer months.
A music company based in Mumbai launched two audio cassettes ' Our Story ' songs by Guru Rewben Mashangva and Piano from Unknown Valley, an instrumental by Manipur's well-known singer and music director Ranbir Thouna, in June.
Famous theatre director Ratan Thiyam hailed the development and urged singers and musicians of the Northeast to work harder for exposure.
The news of the release of the two audio CDs came as a breath of fresh air after bands like Higher-on Maiden of UK, Firehouse from the US, Counterfeit Beatles and Parikrama from New Delhi enthralled hard rock buffs of Manipur.
"After hearing the songs of Rewben Mashangva I feel like floating in the air and touching the clouds," said Thiyam after hearing Rewben who presented three songs from Our Story yesterday at a small gathering.
A small function filled with food and music was organised at an Imphal hotel last evening to mark the release of Rewben's album.
Our Story has 10 soft English tracks in Tangkhul folk style and one Tangkhul folk song. The album also features Rewben's young son, Saka.
The albums tells the troubled tales of the Northeast filled with hope, despair, frustration, nationalism, and killings. Rewben said his songs were campaigns for peace and harmony.
Thiyam agreed. "The songs are very meaningful. The entire CD is about our identity. It is our story and no one else's story," Thiyam said.
In his title song, Our Story, Rewben sang: Sons and sisters of the seven sisters/Please come back home from Hollywood/May you shine like seven stars in the sky.
The song raises hope that one day, peace and glory will return to the region and also urges the youths to shun borrowed culture.
Earlier this month, Thouna's instrumental, Piano from Unknown Valley, was released by the same company. The album has 12 instrumental pieces by Thouna, who is a graduate in piano and also a well-known singer and music director.
In his instrumental filled with traditional music, Thouna made an attempt to introduce traditional Manipuri music in the music world.
"The Northeast has a sea of different music forms. But these are not known much outside. This is because singers, composers and instrumentalists of the region do not have any exposure. They should work harder to get exposure and become famous," Thiyam advised.
He added that only talent was not enough.
Stating that globalisation posed threat of losing one's identity, Thiyam urged the people of the Northeast to preserve their cultures, traditions and identities.