People expect all LiveSquare gigs to be flashy and full of fancy, artsy props and stage materials – nothing wrong to pursue though, but the morning of 22nd March rather saw the serious side of LiveSquare: Concerts – A side which wants to bring in a change, and a sustainable change, while they are at it. Therefore, in order to proceed with this article, let us cut the flashy, artsy props and just concentrate on a small table for four, up on an inch tall stage at Goethe Institut. With a formal arrangement of lights, limited chairs, and three great panelists directed by Saadi Rahman [Owner, Incursion Music], arguably, the first ever panel discussion about Music on a Bangladeshi perspective commenced on a positive note to find out solutions to existing problems and struggles.
The Panel Discussions – probably one of the very first for more to come, is an idea LiveSquare: Concerts has progressed with in order to bring in people stretching from musicians to journalists to industry players to the general and curios “Average Joes”, to discuss about the problems musicians and the arbitrary industry faces while their battle of survival as individuals and the industry holistically. The first Panel consisted of Shakib Chowdhury from the pioneer heavy metal band Cryptic Fate, Shaikh Salekin of Lalon – the Band, Andreas Ljones being the dynamic folk musician all the way from Norway and Saadi Rahman being the moderator. This panel was to discuss about the present scenario of live music in our country and find out alternative ways to make live gigs better. Many issues came up in the discussions upon which major discussions were around the fact that how our industry lacks unity and a more vocal form of integration. Arguments were presented and dealt with by all the speakers. As a conclusion, the panel ended on a note of making a proper structure of our industry and how it is the key to progress further into the depths of fixing other problems. It was also concluded that we need to seek for authoritarian support, if necessary and for us to do that we need to stand united as one, to propagate a strong message of support from the Government and how their contribution can make wonders. It was also concluded that the live scene can be made better with a better collaboration of musicians, sponsors and fans alike. The floor was then opened for questions from the audience when Mr. Majedul Islam [Philip Morris International, Manager of Warfaze] contributed with many points of dealing with sponsorships for bands and organizers and provided with further suggestions to the audience regarding the matters of discussion and ended the first of the four panels.
The Second Panel, consisted of flamboyant front man of Indalo and moderator of the panel – Jon Kabir, manager of Warfaze and from Philip Morris International – Majedul Islam, with playful nature on the DJ from Germany – Andi Teichmann and leading right from the start with the magic in his voice – Shafin Ahmed, from Miles. This panel was to discuss about one of the biggest controversial aspects ever to arise in minds of new musicians: Music as a career. Mr. Jon started the discussions by posing one of the biggest troubling questions: “What do you consider as a career in music?” – A lot of the people stumbled upon facing this question, a few tried to answer but none seem to hit the bulls eye. The panel identified the perfect problem for the discussion: How do people look at it? It was discussed that a career in music does not always mean to be a musician only. The career prospects stretch through a wider ground. Mr. Majedul Islam added how he manages Warfaze and no one ever heard of him in the room before, because his job is to promote the band and the band only and that is also a legit music career – and that too, his business is going great, so why not be a manager? Mr. Shafin Ahmed pointed out the importance of having a manager for a band. He added that even in his time, without any technology and proper scope of having a career in music, they still maintained the code of conduct and how Mr. Hamim Ahmed and he himself used to deal with all the show bookings and they still do. He also remarked on the lack of structure bands face these days and how they cause a lot of problems internally and how it affects their music indirectly but the impact being of huge proportions, concluding by showing a new path to explore in music: management business. Also, Mr. Jon pointed out that the opportunities do not just stop there. One can be a music journalist and he added how our community badly needs music journalists to propagate news and messages to the society – to which everyone believed is one of the biggest reasons why our music industry is lagging behind locally, let alone internationally! He also added the perspectives of having a career in audio engineering and how there is ample amount of opportunities to grab in this field but people are just too ignorant to look into those.
This panel was followed by lunch served in the Goethe cafeteria which was followed by the rest two discussions. The review of the rest two panels will be discussed in the second part of the review but, what we take away from this part is how we lack unity, and need more integration to make things seriously happen. Moreover, we also understand the career prospects the field of music has as of now but no one is bold enough to grab those. Overall, we conclude that Music on a Bangladeshi perspective is like the space – too little discovered and too much to explore, discover and learn. The music scene is waiting to be better, are you up for it?