Indo-Canadian musical collaboration offers an ode to Goddess Durga

Singers Mita Baruah, Mihaar Padmanaav release Durga Vandana on Mahalaya

On the occasion of Mahalaya, an Indo-Canadian artistic collaboration is set to enthral the audience and take them on a spiritual journey. Popular Assam singer Mihaar Padmanaav has collaborated with Canada-based singer-songwriter Mita Baruah for a Durga Vandana – an ode to the Goddess Durga – which was released on October 8.

‘Baje Xonkho’ is an Indo-Canadian artistic collaboration between two sensitive and versatile singer-songwriters Mihaar Padmanaav and Mita Baruah based half way across the world.

Releasing the video song, singer-songwriter Mita Baruah said that around October, when the weather cools down and the fall season starts in Canada, it is Puja season in Assam. “As the red and yellow maple leaves adorn the ground in Canada, tolxora Xewali flowers form a white carpet in Assam. Over the years I associate the spectacular fall colours of Canada with the colours of Maa Durga… the cool breeze in Canada with the fragrance of Xewali. Every Canadian influence seems to trigger a memory from Assam…” said Mita Baruah, who coordinated with Mihaar Padmanaav over phone calls, WhatsApp, Skype and WeTransfer to fine tune the song before recording the same in Guwahati.

The video, shot mostly at Basistha Ashram and choreographed by Uday Shankar, shows dancer-actor Meghranjani Medhi performing for goddess Durga.

“I am very happy being a part of this project. This is a different experience for me as I collaborated with a Canada-based singer, with almost everything done over numerous phone calls and WhatsApp chats. The song in itself will give you the feel of an Indo-Canadian treatment,” said singer Mihaar Padmanaav.

Mita Baruah composed ‘Baje Xonkho’ while driving back from a Puja mandap in Toronto last year. She sent her composition to Mihaar, and they collaborated from half way across the world, developing and polishing the song along the way. Mihaar added the chorus and the alap – all achieved with the help of electronic communication.

On a trip to Guwahati, Mita and Mihaar sat down with music producer Writam Changkakoty in his home studio. Writam instantly liked the song and started playing the piano, and Baje Xonkho took final shape with Writam’s beautiful arrangement and Ibson Lal Baruah’s mixing and mastering.

Mita Baruah is a sensitive, versatile singer who grew up in Assam, trained in Hindustani Classical music at Santiniketan and Calcutta, and is now based in Toronto, Canada. She is a prolific songwriter inspired by the abundant natural beauty of Canada, yet her heart remains in Assam.

Mihaar Padmanaav is a renowned vocalist of exceptional calibre and versatility. He is equally proficient in numerous genres and styles ranging from classical to folk, from Indian pop to western jazz. A multi-talented personality, he is also a composer and lyricist, a TV personality and an enchanting live performer.

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