Wednesday, March 25, 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 - Live Donations Tracking for The Dream Journey

Ustad Ameer Ali Khan - Live Donations Tracking for The Dream Journey - Make a Donation to The Dream Journey

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mere Banne ki Baat Na Poocho - Ustad Manzoor & Abdullah Niazi Qawwal

This lovely recital by Ustad Manzoor & Abdullah Niazi was transcribed 
and eloquently translated by Musab Bin Noor upon Fatima Hamid's request. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Unforgettable Evening of Qawwali

To the intimate and much awaited gathering of listeners of qawwali lovers this Montreal event was rare in it's atmosphere and one that is likely to be remembered for years to come. For all who were present and remember it with yearning and the many, who have heard bits of it, and wish to experience the entire evening remotely I take this opportunity of sharing.

Ustad Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal Ensemble
Ghar ki Mehfil - Sep 2014
Farid Ayaz & Abu Muhammad were also looking forward to the mehfil and were caught in an unusual reflective mood. Fortuitously the mood continued though the mammoth five hour recital at the end of which the insatiable listeners, though bloated by then, still hadn't had their fill.

The presence of friends who had driven especially from Toronto and Ottawa and one who had even flown from Chicago helped create an ambiance where all were attentive, engaged and genuinely appreciative. Several had come bearing requests and almost all were familiar with the qawwals. Last but certainly not least was the important presence of the good listeners of Montreal including Rajinder, Shrikar and several members of the Kabir Center who helped make it a serious listeners affair of intoxication.

Muslim Harji partnered with the late Omer Salim initially helped create the Montreal scene over many years and really set the stage for HCM lovers. I'm convinced that without their efforts we would not have had such audiences. So a very special thanks to Harji bhai and Nevin behen for being present and also for taking the amazing picture above. It was also a distinct pleasure to be seated next to Biren bhai, my younger son Nadir and my dear friend Arshad Saeed from Ottawa.

The recital began with a melodious and unique Vaaqeya-e-Mairaj that was beautifully wrapped around a tarana. Farid was certain that nobody had heard this before because he had simply composed it on the spot as it were. One could say it was a special aamad and a good omen for what was ahead.

A sweet 38 minute rendition of the Naat Aayi Naseem-e-ku-e-Muhammad  that followed is significant as it begins with a long and delightful tarana preamble and also contains lots of passionate girahbandi. Thanks to Atique for making a special request for it.

On several occasions many were swept away with emotional overload as one of the singers or the listeners wept with tears of pure joy. The younger shagird qawwals, like Moiz, Ghayyur, Hamza Akram, Mustafa, Muhammad Shah and Tehsin are finally coming into their own as singers and staking a claim to the Dilli Qawwal Bachay gharana. Some of us have seen them grow from children to young adults who will hopefully have a bright future if they stay on the path. There are many a distraction on the road to success as they say. Especially so in Pakistan if one tries to stick to the classical form. Bohat kathhin hai dagar panghat ki.

Noteworthy throughout the evening is the frequent use of taranas that were discussed prior to the start.

I hope that it brings you as much joy as it did for me.

the recording was made using an H4N

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Aaram Ke Thay Saathi Kya Kya - Arzoo Lakhnavi

Haji Mehboob Qawwal

Aaram ke thay saathi kya kya, 

Jab waqt parda to koi nahin

Sab dost hein apnay matlab e

duniyan mein kissi ka koi nahin

qataal-e-jehan mashooq jo thay
soonay pardey hein markaz unkey
ya marney walay laakhon thay
ya ronay wala koi nahin

jo baagh tha kal phoolon se bhara
itkheliyon se chalti thi sabah
ab sumbul o gul ka zikr to kya

khaak urdti hai os jaa koi nahin 

~ Arzoo Lakhnavi