Welcome to the musical world of composer Debojyoti Mishra.
The Indian born musician is a passionate composer- arranger with an intense intellectual distinction.
His musical promenade across compositional genres has not only fetched international accolades and overwhelming appreciation among connoisseurs but has also carved a niche which is so inimitably Mishraesque…..
Mishra’s fervor for music first got expression as he played the musical scores in the films of the great Satyajit Ray. With time, he branched out to diversified musical orbits like stage scores, band music, commercials and ad-films as well as television soaps. Yet only feature films have managed to capture Debojyoti’s profound aesthetic spirit.
A composer whose music truly transcends boundaries, Mishra has been the musical soul of the directorial deliveries of internationally acclaimed and nationally celebrated filmmakers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh…..the list is ever growing.
A unique musical personality, and the ability to think out of the frame coupled with technical brilliance, has cemented Debojyoti Mishra’s reputation as a proponent of Indian post modern music in the global arena.
Flaunting a nose for the unusual, Debojyoti Mishra has traversed the mainstream and commercial arena with his pleasurably discordant symphonic expressions.
Born in Kolkata in the year 1960, Mishra was blessed with a musically oriented family and a prominent cultural bearing. For the son of a violin teacher Jahnabi Ranjan Mishra, the four-stringed instrument could have been a natural inheritance. But Mishra’s initiation to institutional music at a delicate age of 5 was through yet another classical instrument of strings – the Sarod. He was weaned on a rich musical heritage of Indian classical music under the tutelage of maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, though it was for a short while.
Violin adapted his musical consciousness at the age of 9 to build camaraderie right through childhood, past adolescence into adulthood. He learnt to play western classical on violin under the guidance of professor Stanley Gomes .
If the classical renderings of maestros like Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Faiz Khan, Ustad Aamir Khan, Pundit Ravishankar fashioned his musical perception, the flowing orchestral wonders of Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Bach, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky opened up for Mishra, a broad spectrum of musical styles and approaches.
Musical discipline was ingrained in him under the strict tutelage of his father while the passion was kindled at the nightlong soirees of ‘Kirtan’ where Mishra as a young boy would accompany his grandmother to watch how melody overwhelmed emotions. But this irresistible pull towards the octaves was substantiated by a mind enriched by literature. At a very young age Mishra turned into a voracious reader influenced by his mother to lap up works across all genres by the literary stalwarts. This habit gradually culminated into a natural flair for writing and poetry for Mishra.
Driven by the urge to become financially independent Mishra chose to turn his passion into his profession. He started to play violin in film sessions and studio music with all leading music composers of Bengal; arranged music for innumerable Assamese and Khasi albums; composed scores for stage productions; played violin in musical bands and pursued his struggle for existence.
Mishra’s talent as a young violinist was identified by the musical genius Salil Chowdhury at a concert. Salil Chowdhury was an exposure that opened up a whole new world of ideas and inspirations for Mishra. He would spend 14/15 hours of dedicated sessions with his phenomenal mentor, assisting him in his innumerable films, creating music, brooding over new compositions, meeting and working with legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Nida Fazli, Gulzar and many more.
It is at this time that Mishra developed familiarity with guitar, piano under the guidance of Salililda. Mishra’s mentor dissected the works of Debussy, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and others for him to study and learn from. Mishra worked as the chief assistant to Salil Chowdhury for 14 years.
Mishra’s composer’s self was realized only at a recording session with Satyajit Ray; he was filming one of Tagore’s classic novels – ‘Gharey Bairae’. Mishra sensed an immensely motivating effect on himself as Ray wove a very symphonic expression of a Tagore-melody through chamber orchestra, symbolizing the contrast between Bimala’s(the leading female protagonist in the film) outer and inner world. Mishra for the very first time perceived the taste of a composite effort where individual scores synchronized and rendered together can create wonders. It was a decisive moment for Mishra; a composer was born.
Goutam Chattopadhyay – the person, who revolutionized Bengali music through the concept of Band, inspired Debojyoti Mishra’s musical orientation to a great extent. Mishra’s first stint in music album was in the form of ‘Bicycle’ – a collection of band/group songs written and composed by Mishra himself. The songs of Bicycle were genuinely appreciated by Goutam Chattopadhyay.
The concurrent effects of Goutam Chattopadhyay and Salil Chowdhury in his life brought about a revolutionary change – both musically and psychologically. It was an era of revolution and protest, breaking and rebuilding when music experienced deconstruction of forms, too. Mishra’s spirit of a rebel and fetish for rarity in compositions can be traced back to this phase of his life.
In search for dynamism and expertise Mishra took advanced lessons in Indian Classical Music from Krishna Chandra Bandopadhyay and was eventually introduced to Pundit Bhimsen Joshi from whom he learnt the techniques of adapting classical music to violin. Mishra met the astounding music-maker from south Indian films – Illiyarajathrough Salil Chowdhury and had the privilege of observing and assisting him for a couple of years too.
Mishra was always quite intensely fascinated by the visual media. And it still generates thrill for him, as sound designing blended with music turns palpable when attached to the visuals – be it in feature films or commercial films. This fondness was implanted by his friends who were graduates from the film Institute; Mishra gorged on Hollywood Classics and European films exhaustively, only to strengthen his attachment with films, even more.