East & West meet to rock music lovers
By Peerzada Salman
KARACHI: The opening day of a concert of fusion music titled Zarb turned out to be a pretty enjoyable event for music lovers at the Arts Council Theatre on Monday.
The two-day event is organised by the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) in collaboration with the Arts Council Karachi.
The evening kicked off with sitar player Nafees Ahmed Khan and tabla player Ustad Bashir Khan`s sangat.
Since both instruments (sitar and tabla) belong to the subcontinent, Nafees Ahmed played a Sindhi kafi and blended it with a famous Lionel Ritchie song Hello rather nicely. He tried to show the confluence of the ostensibly different eastern and western musical notes. Nafees Khan played Hello a tad gently than the kafi for clarity of sound.
The performance was enjoyed by the audience which packed the hall as the programme went on.
In the next act, Nafees Ahmed Khan and Bashir Khan were joined by Emu (keyboard), Jason (drums), Khalid (bass) and Afaq Adnan (guitar) on the stage to impart the fusion feel to the concert. They began with an instrumental which they called Summer Evening.
It was a mid-tempo piece led by guitarist Afaq Adnan (who teaches at Napa) with a nice riff. He set the tone which was followed by the rest of the musicians. Afaq Adnan gave a little solo, after which Nafees Khan played his solo with short runs on sitar.
Emu (of pop band Fuzon fame) did his bit on the keyboard, matched by Khalid on the bass and Jason on the drums. But it was Bashir Khan`s solo on tabla that the audience, even the younger lot, greeted with a thunderous applause, mixed with loud clapping, joyous whistles and screams. Though it was fun to listen to the instrumental, one thought that had there been fewer solos in the performance, it`d have been a far better act, and less longish.
Then the musicians presented a composition which they titled Change. It was an upbeat tune with a rather conventional bass pattern and beat cycles.
It further lifted the mood of the audience, not that it needed to, and transported the concert to another (up-tempo) scale. Again, each of them showed their skills by going solo as well.
The concert started at least 45 minutes behind schedule. To boot, Arshad Mehmood`s effusive speech before the gig stretched the evening a bit. He could`ve made it short and sweet.