BISWAS, Anil






Composer. Nationality: Indian. Born: Barisal, East Bengal (now Bangladesh), 1914. Career: 1930—moved to Calcutta: actor, singer, and assistant music director, Rangmahal Theatre, 1932–34; 1934—moved to Bombay; 1935—composed background music for Dharam Ki Devi ; 1936–42—composer for Sagar Movietones; 1942—joined Bombay Talkies; 1957—worked on two films in the USSR; 1963–65—director of National Orchestra for All India Radio (AIR), and chief producer of light Hindustani music from 1965; television work includes title music for popular serial Humlog . Address: K-11/12, South Extension Part-II, New Delhi 110049, India.

Films as Composer/Music Director:

1935

Dharam Ki Devi

1936

Pratima ( Prem Murti ); Prem Bandhan ; Sher Ka Panja

1937

Bull Dog ; Dukhiyari ; Gentleman Daku ; Insaf ; Jagirdar ; Kokila ; Maha Geet

1938

Dynamite ; Gramaphone Singer ; Hum Tum aur Woh ; Nirala Hindustan ; Abhilasha ; 300 Din Ke Baad ; Vatan

1939

Jeevan Sathi ; Ek Hi Raasta

1940

Alibaba ; Aurat ; Pooja

1941

Aasraa ; Bahen ; Nai Roshani

1942

Apna Paraya ; Gareeb ; Jawani ; Roti ; Vijaya

1943

Hamari Baat ; Basant ; Kismat

1944

Char Ankhen ; Jwar Bhata

1945

Pahli Nazar

1946

Milan

1947

Bhookh ; Manjudhar ; Nayya

1948

Anokha Pyar ; Gajre ; Veena

1949

Girls' School ; Jeet ; Ladali

1950

Arzoo ; Beqasoor ; Lajawab

1951

Aaraam ; Badi Bahu ; Do Sitare ; Taran

1952

Do Raha

1953

Aakash ; Farib ; Ham Dard ; Julianwale ; Baag ki Jyoti ; Mehmaan ; Rahi

1954

Maan ; Mahatma Kabir Munna ; Naaz ; Waris

1955

Farar

1956

Heer ; Paisa hi paisa

1957

Abhiman ; Jalti Nishani ; Afanasi Nikitin ; Pardeshi

1958

Sanskar

1959

Char dil Char rahen

1960

Angulimaal ; Mira ka Chitra ; Superman ki Wapasi

1961

Lucky Number ; Savitri

1962

Hame Khelne Do ; Sautela Bhai

1964

Raju aur Gangaram

1965

Chhoti Chhoti Baten



Publications


On BISWAS: book—


Anil Biswas: Tribute—A Collection of Essays on the Occasion of His Fiftieth Year of Music Composition for Films , Bangalore, 1986.


* * *


The music Anil Biswas has composed for films is a reflection of his active and eventful life. Born at a time when a wave of patriotism was sweeping the country, young Biswas became an active underground worker and a revolutionary. This patriotic militancy and stirring optimism came to be manifested in the music that he composed for Hindi films.

Biswas began composing film music in 1931, but the first film in which he was credited with composing the entire score is the 1935 Dharam Ki Devi. The memorable scores that followed bore ample testimony not only to a wide variety of songs but to an element of orchestration that accompanied each composition. By then, he had formed an orchestra of 12 musicians, a number considered "extraordinary" by the industry. Orchestration had always fascinated him, particularly the adaptation of Indian ragas within a Western discipline. When Biswas began work with the Bombay film industry, music-recording was in its infancy. Once when Biswas, an accomplished singer, played the role of a blind performer, the camera, mike, and orchestra had to be moved down the road with him as he sang.

Biswas's immense popularity is due not only to the songs that he composed but also to his background scores. He paid careful attention to instrumental scores for creating mood and ambiance. He also pioneered the adaptation of folk and classical forms within modern film music. He felt that only the "temple" and the "field," symbolizing the Indian classical and folk traditions respectively, could salvage contemporary Indian music from colonial fetters. His fame also rests on his ability to create music with which ordinary Indians can identify.

—Shohini Ghosh

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