A night dedicated to cultural music of Pakistan was held to celebrate World Music Day at the Rafi Peer Cultural Center, Lahore, on June 21. Organised by Rafi Peer Theatre in collaboration with Alliance de Lahore, the event brought an exceptional array of Pakistani musicians and singers.

Rafi Peer Theatre’s Tass-neem Peerzada explained that music is defined as “the art and science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds [or both] to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion”.
She talked about music as an inseparable part of culture. As a result, each country has its unique style of music emanating from the distinct culture and for that reason, one can judge whether a piece of music comes from India, Africa, Australia or even South America, she said.
Rafi Peer Theatre is one of the few venues in Lahore where sound quality is highly emphasised for musical events. The crispness of sound at the event made the audience enjoy the night – despite the heat.
The event focused on Pakistan’s cultural music, featuring dhol, ghazal, folk and qawwali performances.

Sain Shaukhat ignited the show with an immaculate dhol performance with well-choreographed spins. The upbeat and fast performance had the pizzazz of modern-day rock concert as people chanted and danced to the beats of the drum.

Next to perform were Chand and Suraj – sons of Ustad Hussain Gullo Baksh. Their performance of classic ghazals, with a modern touch, was well received by the audience. The brothers were skilful with their raags and were able to stretch notes with a contemporary feel to the performance. Baksh, considered to be one of the premier ghazal singers, was the next performer and did justice to his reputation.

This was followed by Saeein Zahoor – known for his folk songs and recently acclaimed in the contemporary music scene through his performance in “Coke Studio”. Staying true to his folk roots, Zahoor’s live performance moved the crowd. He performed several renditions of Bulleh Shah, including the immensely popular “Aik Alif” with his band, alongwith a violinist, who provided a unique twinge to the folk music.
The last act by Mian Miri Qawwals set the stage on fire by bringing memories of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with a high-tempo performance of “Allah Hu”, which had the spectators leaving their seats and dance like the whirling sufis. The band brought an original and youthful atmosphere with Sufi songs, but the real treat came in the form of the percussions produced by a combination of dhol and handclaps.

One spectator Adnan Asif said that music was something that had to have indigenous connection with the listener. He said that the day, to him, was more about sustaining Pakistani music and culture: “These are the people who shaped our culture and heritage. It’s important we do whatever we can to remember them.”

World Music Day

Conceptualised in 1976 by American musician Joel Cohen, World Music Day or Fete de la Musique is celebrated on June 21 every year. The philosophy was to have all-night music celebrations during which amateur and professional musicians were encouraged to perform on streets and hold free concerts. First practiced in France, World Music Day is now celebrated in most of the countries around the world.

Source: Express Tribune

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