Subversive and seductive, wild and abandoned, the Sufi Fakirs Of Bengal have preserved a series of esoteric spiritual teachings on breath, sex, asceticism, philosophy and mystical devotion, as well as amassing a treasury of poignant and enigmatic teaching songs about love, humanity and devotion that map out their path towards their inner vision.

The Fakirs, and their Hindu counterparts, the Bauls, believe that God is found not in the heavens, or even in the afterlife, but instead in the present moment, in the body of the man or woman who seeks the truth: all that is required is to give up your possessions, take up the life of the road, find a pir, and adhere to the path of love. Each man is alone, they believe, and must find his own way. Mixing elements of Sufism, Tantra, Vaishnavism and Buddhism, they visit their wayside shrines and there sing songs on a simple one-stringer ektara.

This is the first time this music has been digitally available outside India, allowing a unique insight into the extraordinary world of the Sufi Fakirs. This is an exclusive release that is sure to excite listeners who like their world music uncut, direct from the source, and stylistically unified.

The music is intoxicating and blissful in mood, with layers of lute, flute, percussion and vocals perfectly mixed together. A rotating cast of singers bring variety to the arrangements. The music is soaked in joyful and mystical spirituality that is sure to ignite interest in the listener.

The Tracks

01      Noor Alam: Dilkabate Tin Daraja
(trad, arr Noor Alam) 

02      Arman Fakir: Aj Mehfil Kabar Nishana
(trad, arr Arman Fakir)

03      Akkas Fakir: Ayat Koran Pore Sudhu Naam Thikana
(trad, arr Akkas Fakir)

04      Babu Fakir: Khajababa
(trad, arr Babu Fakir)

05      Akkas Fakir: Dayal Data Kyabla Kaba
(trad, arr Akkas Fakir) 

06      Babu Fakir: Ay Boro Peer
(trad, arr Babu Fakir)

07      Arman Fakir: Dillite Nizamuddin
(trad, arr Arman Fakir)

08      Arati Biswas: Asraful Aulia
(trad, arr Arati Biswas)

09      Golam Fakir: Ei Baganer Malik Jara
(trad, arr Golam Fakir)

All songs published by Riverboat UK Music (MCPS) 

The Performers

Golam Fakir is a renowned singer and Dotara player (an instrument much associated with the musical culture of the Bengali people and highly favoured by the Baul). Golam hails from Gorbhanga village located in Nadia District of West Bengal, a state of Eastern India. Golam specializes in Marfati, Murshidi and Qawwali repertoire and is regarded as one of the leading singers in Fakiri music.

Akkas Fakir is also an extremely popular Fakiri singer and Khol player from Nadia district of West Bengal. Akkas primarily sings the songs of Lalan Shah Fakir, a true propagator of Baul philosophy from Kushtia district, Bangladesh. Typically, his songs express sentiments of love and universal brotherhood.

Babu Fakir specializes in Qawwali and Baul/Fakiri songs and is an extremely powerful singer in Fakiri music. Through Qawwali repertoire, he upholds a hundred year old oral tradition which praises both Allah and Lord Krishna. As a Dotara player, he is also well known for his Kirtan repertoires.

Arman Fakir is one of the most senior and highly renowned Fakiri singers residing in Gorbhanga village of Nadia district. He is renowned for having an extensive repertoire of songs and his unique renditions of Bangla Qawwali.

Noor Alam, also from Gorbhanga village in Nadia district in West Bengal, is a talented Baul, Fakiri and Qawwali singer. Noor is also an excellent Dotara player.

Arati Biswas is one of the few renowned female Baul singers from Ghurni village of Krishnanagar-I Block of Nadia district in West Bengal.