Music festival rounds off with a masterstroke
By Peerzada Salman
KARACHI: The second and final day of the 7th Annual Music Festival organised by the All Pakistan Music Conference Karachi at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture on Saturday was peppered with some top-notch performances leaving music lovers gasp for more.
The first performer of the evening was a young girl, Leena Ahmed, who has a degree in architecture and has been learning the tabla for the last six years. Ustad Fayyaz Khan and Abid Husain are two of her illustrious teachers. Leena first played a solo piece (tintaal) and was joined on stage by Dilawar Husain (pakhawaj) and Gul Mohammad (sarangi) for a nice little pakhawaj-tabla session.
Known music aficionado and musician Safia Beg was next. She urged the younger members of the audience to sing the sargam with her and then presented raag aiman kalyan and rounded off her stint with raag kirvani.
The arrival of a young sitar nawaz, Turab Ali, changed the mood of the evening. Turab has been learning the instrument from the age of nine. He is a grandson of Ustad Imdad Husain and his uncle Akhlaq Husain is his teacher. Accompanied by Khurshid Husain (tabla) the young sitar player presented raag rageshree with a 16-beat cycle and made the audience glued to their seats listening to him with rapt attention. His recital, ably complemented by Khurshid Husain’s tabla, was received with a thunderous applause and even when he got off stage people kept showering him with praise, something which he richly deserved. The young chap is one to watch out for, for he knows how to make the sitar emote.
Ayesha Ali is a dhrupad singer who learnt the style for six years from the late Ustad Hafeez Khan. She performed mian ki malhar, and was supported by Dilawar Husain (pakhawaj) and Akhtar Husain (sarangi). Then she sang raag malkauns (tintaal) and showed her vocal skills with reasonable control.
The penultimate act was from Ustad Akhtar Khan who belongs to the Shyam Chorasi gharana. Ustad Ghulam Shabbir Khan and Jaffer Khan were his teachers. Ustad Akhtar Khan gave a couple of strong performances, and his rendition of raag jogkauns in particular was special. He was joined on stage by Khurshid Husain (tabla), Mohammad Afzal Khan (harmonium), Akhtar Husain (sarangi) and Wajid Husain (tanpura).
The best was saved for the last, as Ustad Naseeruddin Saami enthralled music buffs with his brilliant vocal range and voice control. The ustad hails from Delhi’s Taan Rus gharana, known for spreading and popularising the khayal gaeki. Ustad Saami acquired his education from his uncle Munshi Raziuddin Ahmed and Sardar Khan. He was accompanied by Urooj Nasir Saami (vocals), Khurshid Husain (tabla) and Rauf Naseer Saami (harmonium). The ustad’s recital of raag bihag was an experience that many would cherish for a long time. He presented different patterns of the raag, including a tarana. His performance was fraught with poignant ups and downs, reaching for higher notes with as much facility as touching the lower ones with incredible command. Then to lighten up the atmosphere a bit, he sang a thumri, which was equally masterful.