Suman Chattyopadhaay's article which appeared at the back of the album 'Uttaran' (1982)

More than a century ago a movement sprouted from the musically fertile soil of Bengal. It was the movement of modern Bengali song. The great talent of Rabindranath Tagore stood at it's fore. In accord with the nascent spirit of Bengal modernism, Modern Bengali song was spacious enough to contain not only the great heritage of Indian classical and Bengali Folk music, but the geographically distant elements of western music as well. Right from it's birth the Modern Bengali music was thus endowed with a universal character. With the passage of time this genre of music became a true laboratory for creative and innovative artists, whose imagination seldom knows any geographic boundary. The man whose genius and creative energy have utilized this laboratory to a hitherto unexplored extent in our times, is Salil Chowdhury.
In the Indian subcontinent, Salil Chowdhury is a lot more than a name. He is an institution - an institution that has the built-in revolutionary capacity of exploring it's own roots and thus recreating itself in conjunction with the dialectic of time and temporality of musical idioms. A product of the Indian peoples' progressive movement of the 40's, Salil Chowdhury emerged in the scene of Bengali music as revolution incarnate. In his music the struggle of the toiling masses of rural and urban Bengal found it's most potent expression- in lyric as well as in melody.. Salil was the pioneer who introduced harmony in Bengali song that imparted a new structural and tonal dimension to his songs of human liberation and freedom sung essntially in chorus. Yes, Salil Chowdhury's prime concern has always been man and his society.This concern lies at the roots of the political content of his music. It is no way an exaggeration to say that as far as Bengal is concerned, progressive political ideology was translated into musical idioms in keeping with the demands of our age to its most profound extent in Salil's music.The power of musical imagination and innovative courage that were revealed in his earlier ideological songs, are equally present in his songs of love. In orchestration Salil Chowdhury has shown a similar level of creative vigor. In fact,his orchestration has added a dimension so uniquely his own that it has become an integral part of his songs. Salil's creative energy is as prolific as it is unique. There is hardly any other contemporary composer in India who can boast of so many popular and aesthetically successful songs.
Salil Chowdhury visited the United Sates in 1981-82. A group of singers drawn from different organization took upon themselves the task of recording some of Salil's songs in America under his personal guidence and this album bears a witness to their endeavour. As far as the orchestra is concerned, it was for the first time that mostly American musicians were utilized. It was solely  due to Salil Chowdhury's talent and capacity   of unifying Indian singers with American instrumentalists that this was possible. This unison adds a dimension which we have hardly ever known before. This is the first album of Salil Chowdhury's songs recorded abroad - and is therefore a very important event. Most of the songs are sung in chorus. But Salil Chowdhury has brought forth a solo recital as well. Interestingly enough this particular song has been composed in the United States. Along with the songs there is a poem written and read by Salil Chowdhury. This poem as well as the songs in the album have Salil's sense of  the necessity of the human progress and unity at its centre. Ernst Fischer, the great prograssive thinker said : Future is the dimention that determines mankind. In Salil Chowdhury's songs, in his lyrics as well as his tonal structure the listener is bound to find that promise of a future toward which any sincere and humanistic approach of art struggles forth.
This album is an honest attempt to capture the spirit of Salil Chowdhury - the man, the poet, the composer and his socio-musical awareness.

Suman Chatterjee