Thappad Music composer Anurag Saikia, re-invigorates 600-year-old Assamese cultural folk Borgeet

Anurag Saikia, an Indian film score composer, music director and instrumentalist who has given many hits in Bollywood films including Karwaan, Mulk, Article 15, Thappad and more. He is one of the youngest music composers to be awarded with Rajat Kamal for ‘Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction’, for the award-winning Assamese language short film Yugadrashta and now gearing up for his upcoming ‘Project Borgeet’.

Expressing his love for the music Anurag Saikia says, “To me, Music has always been my power, my medicine, in it I find bliss. Ever since my childhood, the melodious music of Assam began to grow within me. I could feel it flow in each of my veins. I explored Music under proper guidance from world class Music faculty in 2010, from Swarnabhoomi Music Academy (SAM). From then on, I went through many ups and downs which at last brought me to the heart of Bollywood, Mumbai.”

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“In this euphonic journey of mine, I have been bestowed with very honourable awards for which I am genuinely grateful, like the 61st National Film Award, Big Music Award, Prag Cine Award and others,” he adds.

As singing and dancing are quite integral to many Assamese families, son of soil, Anurag Saikia grew up listening to his father playing Mozart or Beethoven on the gramophone while his mother would start singing a Borgeet on the same scale in another part of their house. Now, 30-year-old Saikia — a National Award-winning musician — is on the verge of realizing his childhood dream called ‘Project Borgeet’, produced by Zeal Creations.

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Borgeets (‘songs celestial’) are a collection of lyrical songs composed in 15th-16th centuries by poet-saint Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Sri Sri Madhavdeva, pioneers of Bhakti Movement in North Eastern parts of the country, which were used as devotional songs during prayer services in monasteries, e.g. Satra and Namghar in assamese culture.

‘Project Borgeet’ is an endeavor to bring out the universality of these holy songs that have remained unknown beyond a localized confinement for various reasons. It is an honest effort to explore and re-interpret the cultural legacy bestowed upon us. This project encompasses hundreds of musicians from different corners of the globe altogether in the process of production. Anurag Saikia has taken the first ever initiative of its kind and scale of syncing Borgeets and recording them with the flamboyant ’85 Piece Orchestra’ at FAMES’s Project – Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra to ravishing artists of ‘Shillong Choral’. ‘Project Borgeet’ has been a global journey from every aspect.

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A very elated Saikia about his dream project, says, “It was my long-standing dream to create something real and authentic which does justice to the mature compositions of the 500-600-year-old songs (Borgeet’s). This project is a process of assimilation while paying tribute to juxtaposed cultural traits at the same time.”