The spirit of the iconic year 1971 will live forever in the hearts of every Bangalee. Freedom for us came at a cost, too bloody and painful. Therefore, the significance of it resonates ever so powerfully when we indulge in liberation.
Inspired by that essence, project “Amader Ekattor”, which is the brainchild of Shahidul Islam, the lead singer of the band Doorbin, took shape. Along with the dedication of a handful of people, the band has succeeded in setting a milestone in the band music arena.
The urge to create music that is patriotic yet distinctive at the same time gave birth to this project. Shahidul Islam formulated the plan to include bands from every corner of the country, to produce an album about the 1971 by 71 different bands with new songs, lyrics and tunes.
“Doorbin travelled restlessly, far and wide across Bangladesh to meet with different bands and collect their contributions for the compilation album. The enthusiasm from the musicians from every district resulted in an abundance of songs and ballads, each expressing the soul of '71 in their own creative manner,” said Shahidul Islam.
However, it was soon discovered that many of the recordings did not meet the required standards. In order to resolve the matter, Doorbin arranged for a decent accommodation with food and other basic amenities in Dhaka, along with a full studio setup, so that the artistes from different corners could travel to the capital and record their audio with better quality, Shahidul informed.
Finally, after three laborious years of hard work, “Amader Ekattor” took the shape of how the composers wanted it to be, and thus it was released. Despite all the efforts, minute errors were still present which needed to be taken care of. Therefore an additional year of filtering and fine-tuning was dedicated for the project, after which, a second edition of “Amader Ekattor” was released.
In a conversation with The Daily Star, Shahidul expressed his gratitude not only to all the 415 musicians who contributed immensely for the success of the album, but also to the citizens (bus drivers, rickshaw pullers, etc.) at work, who refused to charge them (when the album was in progress) upon hearing about the band's endeavor.
According to Shahidul Islam, “Around 700 people devoted their efforts unconditionally for the cause of the album. The mass popularity of the project also facilitated concerts titled “Amader Ekattor Band Festival”, which included all the 71 different bands performing live”.
Due to the prominence of the overall project coupled with the nationwide support, the works for another new but similar album is underway, the band informed.
Doorbin's lineup is Ayub Shahrear (vocal), Shahid (vocal), Shishir (drums), Shaon (bass), Joy (guitar) and Hridoy (guitar). Their fifth album is slated for release before Eid this year.
The author is a freelance contributor to The Daily Star.