Saturday, February 20, 2016

Raag Yaman Kalyan - Ustad Gulab Afridi on Rabab

Our musical journey in 2015 also took us to Peshawar in the hunt for a rabab player. Six of us with a common love for the sound of strings set of on a cold winter morning from Islamabad with a car packed with cameras and sound recording equipment and major plans. However we were to first stop for a delicious lunch of chapli kebabs and pulao at Khyber bazar and then proceed to meet up with the understated Ustad Gulab Afridi. After all serious listening requires that there be no distractions of pangs of hunger.

Young Gulab is a pretty well known Pakistani musician. In fact he is a leading Rabab player and very popular in circles that care for the instrument. Gulab has earlier performed in several music videos including at Coke Studio as well is in high demand with local listeners and practitioners.

Ustad Gulab Afridi with Murad Afridi on tabla
Video credit: Mahera Omar
The Dream Journey sessions

As you will note in the video above his playing was beautifully sensitive and reflects a maturity often found with years of practice and a patience that comes with age. There appears no rush to try to impress and blow away the listener and to my ears that creates an even larger impact. He is accompanied on the tabla by his capable cousin Murad Afridi who helps to perfectly complete the team to two.

Listening to them in their hujra at their home in Peshawar in such an intimate setting made the experience extra special.

Ustad Gulab Afridi coaches students around the world on Skype

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Guru Bin Gyan by Maulvi Haider Hassan Vehranwale Qawwal

The experience of listening to this group of singer in Faisalabad last December at such close quarters and in a tiny space was truly intense.

Maulvi saheb is both focused and zealous in his style. The entire party is well coordinated comes together perfectly producing a sound that is near perfection. The beautiful use of Iqbal's verses aptly inserted here is especially noteworthy.

Guru Bin Gyan
Recital: Maulvi Haider Hassan Vehranwale Qawwal and Party
The Dream Journey sessions

Lead vocalists: Maulvi Haider Hassan & Zameer Hassan Khan
Vocaltists: Fakhar Hassan Khan, Tallat Hassan Akhtar & Saqib Hassan
Harmonium: Fakhar Hassan Khan and Zameer Hasan Khan
Tabla and Dhol: Nasir Hasan

The Dream Journey – Discovering musicians across Pakistan (A Non Profit Project)

A film about an exhilarating journey of five friends with a shared passion for discovering and recording musicians in their living environments across Pakistan........

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Agar Beenam - Kalaam Bu Ali Qalandar

Qawwal: Ghous Muhammad Nasir
Kalaam of the great 13th century sufi saint Hazrat Bu Ali Qalandar
Posted by ghulammoin on YouTube

The recorded voice quality is not great but the kalaam is beautiful.

Agar beenam shab'e nagaah, man aan sultan e khooban ra,
sar andar paye vey aaram, fida saaz'am dil-o-jaan ra
Ba gird e kaaba tay kardam keh roo e yaar e man kaaba,
kunam tawwaaf e maikhana, bay bosam paye mastaan ra
Rab andar butkada sheenam, beh paish e but kunam sajda
agar yabam khareedaray, faroosham deen o eeman raa
Na gooee kalma e kufrast, agar gooee shabay kaafir,
biro aye muddaee nadaan, cheh danee sirr e mastaan ra,
Sarram pechaan dilam pechaan manam pecheeda e jan ra
Sharaf choon maar mee pechad cheh pechad zulf e pechaan ra

transliterated by Sayyed Ali Shah Qalandar

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Dream Journey – Discovering Musicians Across Pakistan

Alternatively see the same video below on
The Dream Journey Trailer from Mahera Omar - Live Donations Tracking for The Dream Journey - Live Donations Tracking for The Dream Journey - Make a Donation to The Dream Journey

Ustad Abdullah Niazi & Waqas Niazi
What began as a whimsical idea quickly took shape with the infectious enthusiasm of participants and was recorded by Mahera Omar as a labour of love. The Dream Journey is a film about an exhilarating eight day journey of five friends with a shared passion for discovering and recording musicians in their living environments in Pakistan. 

The six sessions of vocal music recorded and filmed using high quality DSLRs cover several musical forms in the Indo Pakistani tradition; Thumri, Kaafi, Ghazal, Qawwali and Khyaal. The kalaams that the musicians drew from ranged the whole spectrum of great poets: Khusrau, Jalal ud din Rumi, Kabir, Baba Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah, Iqbal, Faiz and numerous mystic poets of India and Pakistan. The performances evoked memories of the verdant lushness of the Punjab, the haunting mysticism of the Great Rajputana and Sind Deserts, the vibrancy of Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Delhi, the great aura of Ajmer, the majestic beauty of the Indo-Gangetic plain.
Ustad Farid Ayaz &
Ustad Abu Muhammad

Some of the musicians are established and famous, others are amongst the brilliant budding talent that adorns Pakistan’s musical scene. Each of the mehfils has a distinct atmosphere and mood, but there is a common thread. We asked each of the musicians to stay close to their respective inherited musical traditions, allowing the singers an opportunity to present some pieces that are rarely heard today. 

We are inspired to present the brilliance of this contemporary Pakistani vocal music to a wider audience in a 90 minute documentary film of the journey followed by a series of HD audio/video releases of each Mehfil.
The individuals involved in this venture have spent a sizable amount of their personal funds on this project and seek your help to cover the cost of editing, production and publishing of the 

film and the audio recordings. Please give generously by clicking on the Donate button below. 
Taj Muhammad & Shad Muhammad Niazi


Mustafa Khan & Muhammad Shah
Hamza Akram
Moiz and Ghayoor Ahmed
Ahmad Raza
Taj Muhammad & Shad Muhammad Niazi
Subhan Ahmed Nizami
Ustad Abdullah Niazi & Waqas Niazi
Ustad Ameer Ali Khan & Imran Ali Khan
Ustad Farid Ayaz & Ustad Abu Muhammad
Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan
Subhan Ahmed Nizami 

Jointly Produced by:

Vaqar Ahmed
Asif Hasnain
Arif Ali Khan
Zain Mujtaba
Musab Bin Noor
Mahera Omar

with assistance from viewers like you.

Donations may be made by clicking below: - Make a Donation to The Dream Journey

Ustad Ameer Ali Khan

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