Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:58 pm Post subject: ISMAILI ART AND MUSIC
‘Ashiqi Angar brought Chitrali music to the fore’
While working on a project together, singer-songwriter Zoe Viccaji and actor-director Adnan Malik came across 25-year-old Irfan Ali Taj whose vocal abilities and slick playing of the rubab and guitar left them more than impressed. Months later, Viccaji and Taj were ready to put out their first ever collaboration together, Ashiqi Angar.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Taj said the song was written by a fellow Chitrali songwriter, Mir Saleem, who is part of Taj’s former band, QashQarian. “The song really is the first to come out from the plains of Chitral into the mainstream. It has brought our music to the fore,” he said. The Urdu lyrics have been penned by Abdullah Haroon and Viccaji can be seen crooning to the lines in the video.
Fawad, Jimmy, Zoe make Lahore laugh, cheer and clap
With the Chitrali and Urdu lyrics both alluding to a longing for the beloved and the composition deriving heavily from folk music of the highlands, the video has ironically been filmed at a beach somewhere along the coastal part of Pakistan. Viccaji said the video, directed by Junaid Mustafa, was conceived on a shoestring budget. “On the other hand, the response it has received is amazing,” she said. Viccaji has every reason to believe Taj will soon make it big. “He has put in genuine effort. His heart is in the right place. I am sure more great songs will be coming out from his end.” The song has been produced by musician Mubashir Admani.
According to Taj, the song delves into two different philosophies. “The Chitrali lines signify the concept of ishq-e-majazi whereas the Urdu lyrics denote ishq-e-haqiqi. The song talks about how love does not kill you but makes you stronger, making you capable of achieving bigger things in life,” he said.
Would love to collaborate with Sajjad Ali: Zoe Viccaji
The upcoming musician feels very strongly about the literary tradition of his part of the world. He plans on reviving classical poetry inked by writers from Gilgit and Chitral through his music. “Not only do I want to highlight the struggle of these people but also to underscore the historical importance of the region.” Taj said he wants others to see Chitral the way he has seen it.
With Ashiqi Angar already out, Taj is currently working on forming another band called Siachen. He has plans of releasing another single, Teri Talash, in which he will experiment with dhol, shehnai and other Eastern instruments. In his own words, it is a “masterpiece in the making”.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2016.
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Islamic art exhibition at Dallas Museum of Art introduced with Ismaili Choir performance
15 March 2016
For the next 15 years, some of the most precious Islamic artefacts from one of the world’s largest private collections of Islamic art are being housed in the heart of Texas.
Holdings from the Keir Collection have been made available to the Dallas Museum of Art as part of a long term loan, “transforming the museum’s Islamic art collection into the third largest of its kind in North America,” according to the Museum.
A first exhibition from the collection — Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art — presents a selection of over 50 works in various mediums, from rock crystal to paper, metalwork, ceramics, carpets, and textiles. The items span 13 centuries of art from the Muslim world, spread from Spain to Central Asia.
Included among them is an ewer carved from rock crystal — a remarkable object dating back to the late 10th to 11th century Fatimid period in Egypt. “The Fatimid ewer is among the world’s greatest treasures, and we are privileged and grateful to be responsible for its care and presentation,” says Maxwell L. Anderson, former director of the Museum.
Spirit and Matter was introduced in September 2015 with a lecture by the exhibition’s organiser Dr Sabiha Al Khemir. The evening opened with a special performance by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas.
“The choir’s approach is to create awareness about pluralism through musical expressions inspired by various global traditions and Islamic cultural heritage,” says Fez Meghani, one of the choir’s directors. “They showcase very engaging — at times intriguing — takes on both traditional and contemporary voice pieces.”
» Listen to an audio recording of the choir’s performance and Dr Sabiha Al Khemir’s lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art website
The choir performed two pieces, Profit & Loss — inspired by a children’s book published by the Aga Khan Museum — and The Name. Both poetically expressed the concepts of spirituality, ethics, diversity, and pluralism in Persian, Arabic and English.
“This community — the Ismaili community — is a community of peace and love and volunteerism that is at the essence of selflessness,” said Dr Al Khemir at the start of her lecture. A senior advisor for Islamic Art at the Dallas Museum of Art and a professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, she lauded the choir’s performance and the community's historic contributions to the arts and humanities.
Dr Al Khemir, who was instrumental in bringing the Keir Collection to the Museum, hoped that its acquisition and the newly opened exhibition would raise awareness about the beauty and diversity of Islamic art, and the universality of values expressed through its artifacts. These themes fit harmoniously, she noted, with the messages contained in the devotional literature performed in song by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir.
During the next hour, Dr Al Khemir presented slides about the pieces on exhibit, including drawings, metalwork, ceramics, and textiles, to showcase the diversity and beauty of Islamic heritage. She focused on the Fatimid rock crystal ewer to highlight the intellectual and pluralistic tradition of the Fatimids.
“His Highness the Aga Khan, whom I had the honour and privilege to hear in Paris,” she recalled, “speaks of pluralism, of diversity, of modernity — it is a voice that brings hope to us all.”
The Spirit and Matter exhibition will be on display until July 2016 at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Conchord: Three Muslim Musicians on a Personal Search
By Samira Noorali, exclusive for Ismailimail.
Sarosh Mawani, Aly Panjwani and Mehak Noorani are members of a musical trio and respond to the catchy band name, Conchord. Over the last four years, the group has created a body of work that expresses their understanding of Islam - an Islam that they hold true to their hearts. Now, with the release of their seventh YouTube single, “Stand As One,” they hope to inspire listeners into peaceful action and meaningful dialogue.
Conchord’s work forges a sense of unity within the Muslim Ummah, especially among the new generation of American youth. However, it also stirs contemplation about who can and should speak out on social concerns surrounding faith-identity.
“It is every Muslim’s responsibility to interpret their faith for the contemporary era rather than blindly believing what they have been taught,” said Noorani, a lyricist and singer who strongly believes in engaging in personal search when it comes to faith.
Composer, producer and singer Sarosh Mawani says music gives him and his fellow musicians the ability “to convey a more positive message about Islam than what we hear in the media through art.”
For Conchord, music is a platform for self-expression and discussion regarding misconceptions of Islam. The group’s message about a peaceful Islam comes out through lyrics like, “Gentle words honestly explain, turn a cheek our virtues remain,” and resonates strongly among young listeners. Their videos have also attracted thousands of online viewers.
Islamophobia is an emotional topic for the trio and is the basis for the lyrical content in “Stand as One.” Lyrics like “Muhammad preached peace and harmony, but our message is under scrutiny,” express their vulnerability as American Muslims, while statements like “Islam is love, love conquers fear” demonstrate a willingness to confront the ignorance that characterizes the current times.
Part of combating Islamophobia is “sharing the beauty of Islam through music,” said Aly Panjwani, a lyricist, composer and singer.
“You apply music to yourself and the context of the time,” said Panjwani. “Music can elicit feelings that language alone can not. The entire global community can be affected and understand one person’s expression because music is universal. The sounds I hear are the same sounds others hear. The beauty is we can interpret them in our own ways. My musical theater director used to say characters sing when words alone aren’t enough to fully express emotion.” Panjwani is currently pursuing a degree in Culture and Politics at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Certificate in International Development. He is interested in utilizing the arts toward justice and diplomacy efforts. He is also a member of a university theatrical production called “God and Country” which speaks to issues of racial inequality and discrimination around the country. Panjwani believes that the arts make the experience of faith at once more personal and more universal.
Conchord’s music emphasizes messages that resonate with Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They focus on core values of Islam, such as peace, love and hope, which are common among people of many other religious backgrounds. These fundamentally similar values provide a bridge into the hearts and minds of the people Conchord is trying to reach - people who may or may not understand the message of Islam. While Panjwani suggests that looking at differences may shed light on the ways in which different people connect with God, Noorani believes that looking at differences first is no more than “the psychology of protection.” Noorani is a member of an organization at New York University called Muslim Jewish Interfaith Dialogue. In this setting, she uses Conchord’s music as a means of demonstrating the commonalities between people of faith.
That Interfaith dialogue is of interest to Noorani comes as no surprise considering she is studying to be a speech-language pathologist. With a major in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and minors in Multifaith and Spiritual Leadership, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Public Health, she is finding ways to incorporate her passion for the arts into her career path. While on an academic plane she is interested in the intersection of linguistics and healthcare in the geriatric domain, she also has a personal vision of improving race and faith relations through her practice. Noorani was involved in her high school theater department as a teenager and currently sings in NYU Masti, an all-female South Asian a cappella group.
Mawani, whose upbringing was split between Pakistan and Texas, composes and produces Conchord’s tracks. He also graces a few pieces with neumatic vocal phrasings that transport listeners to the East. Although Mawani is responsible for bringing together the components of both Eastern and Western music in production, he asserts, “I’ve never been formally trained.” Mawani self-trained in piano at an early age and played percussion in his high school’s Drumline. He is now a singer and Music Director for Swaram A Cappella at Texas A&M. His compositions make use of Sufistic elements, a style which is all the rage in many parts of the world – especially in South Asia and the Middle East.
Mawani is a melody-first-and-then-the-lyrics kind of guy, and the group agrees that the sonic feel of a piece should determine the overlying message. Conchord’s process of composition makes evident their priorities as musicians and Muslims. For example, their piece, “Sawm” began with few key ingredients: a melody, a commitment to involving as many participants as possible and an intention to help their peers understand the foundational principles of fasting during Ramadan. Once the message of unity and solidarity was apparent in the musical composition, it came naturally to streak the manuscript with lyrics that celebrated fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Conchord’s vision of a more accepting and diverse world comes through in their music videos as well. The video for their song “A Dream” contains several Muslim and non-Muslim participants. Some of the lyrics call upon the entire international community to join in solidarity to spread the positive messages inherent in universal values, while video images show participation from people of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
A wave of music coming from Muslim artists all over the world has taken on various stances in the last decade. Some popular songs offer a cathartic response to particular acts of violence like “Mujhe Dushman ke Bachon ko Parhana Hai” penned by Major Imran and “Khalipan” by Salim-Sulaiman. Others praise the Prophet like Sami Yusuf did in his huge hit, “Al-Mu’allim.” Many have also addressed the issue of Muslim identity in creative ways, such as taking older cultural texts that would normally be sung in unison (i.e. Naat), and giving them lush harmonies and counterpoint, essentially “westernizing” the expression of devotion.
Conchord is taking a different approach and wants to share their “clash of cultures” experience with other first generation American Muslims. “We’re writing our music as millennials,” said Noorani. “We’re not like our parents; we’ve been raised in a very different culture. Our interpretation and our understanding of our faith is different as well.” With music, Conchord imparts what they have learned about the complexities of Islam in a contemporary context, and in turn, helps others to navigate what it means to be Muslim in this day and age.
The group looks to Sami Yusuf, Hussein Janmohamed, Fez Meghani, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, A.R. Rahman and Jon Bellion among other artists for inspiration. They aspire to reach larger and larger audiences in the future with their hopeful message of a more peaceful and just world.
Samira Noorali (samiranoorali.com, Facebook) is an Indio-based writer, musician and lecturer. She has published creative work in various literary magazines and journalism in ITL News and Ismailimail.
Ismaili Dance Ensemble’s traditional Indian dances at the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center grand opening set for May 28
Special events and performances complete with confetti cannons are scheduled for the grand opening including a drumline, Cookie Joe’s fusion of classical, jazz and hip-hop dance moves, and the Ismaili Dance Ensemble’s traditional Indian dances.
Salim-Sulaiman celebrate 25 years of music, release a trailer of their journey ‘Shukranallah’
One of India’s most loved musical duo Salim-Sulaiman have released the trailer of their musical journey 'Shukranallah' on YouTube.
Music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman have been creating music for 25 years. Their songs and melodies have been regularly awarded and have found their place in people’s hearts, putting them on the ‘favourites’ list of the movie-going audiences, not only in India but across the globe. With a fan following like this, a tribute to the fans has been long overdue.
One of India’s most loved musical duo have released the trailer of their musical journey ‘Shukranallah’ on YouTube.
The Ainvayi Ainvayi hitmaker Salim Merchant too took to Twitter to announce the news of their new creation. “Trailer of our film #Shukranallah-A musical journey of Salim-Sulaiman, an ode to our fans & I the almighty @Sulaiman,” the singer wrote with a Youtube link of the trailer.
Shukranallah -The film follows the life of Salim and Sulaiman Merchant as they travel across the globe to give their fans some of their most loved music, in person. Through their journey we see the hardships, the euphoria, the trials and tribulations that they go through, just to pay back the love the fans have showed them over the years.
Raza.com, Industry Leader In International Calling, Presents Salim-Sulaiman Live 2016
Chicago, Illinois, USA – WEBWIRE – Friday, June 10, 2016
Amin Hemani, Marketing Director at Raza.com, says: “Salim-Sulaiman are known for their music the world over, the uniqueness about their music is that they adapt with the changing times, taste and need of the generations to come without alienating the generation that has gone by.”
Raza.com, the industry leader in International calling, today announced its partnership with Live Concert World Inc. for the upcoming: Salim-Sulaiman Live 2016 North America Tour presented by Raza.com!
The Salim-Sulaiman Live 2016 North American Tour will feature Bollywood’s leading music composer duo Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, along with Raj Pandit, Vipul Metha, Bhoomi Trivedi and, for the first time ever, The Manganiars from Rajasthan. This will be the 3rd annual tour for the Merchant Brothers in North America; catering to the Indian diaspora across North America, Raza.com will partner with the concerts, as they will take place across major cities in the USA and Canada.
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the raza.com family for our tour, we hope to see this as the start of a association which will last many years,” said Salim Merchant.
The Salim-Sulaiman 2016 Tour will take place between Sept 10th and Sept 25th, with stops in Canada and the USA; additional details can be found on www.salimsulaimanlive.com
The Industry Leader in International Calling to over 200 countries.
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Today, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant are among India’s most respected composers, having scored more than 100 films including Kurbaan, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Fashion, Band Baaja Baaraat, Aaja Nachle, Heroine, etc., around 20 TV shows and composed several records incorporating cinematic, folk, electronica and sufi influences to their music. They’ve composed for musicals such as ’Merchants of Bollywood’ and ’Beyond Bollywood’. Salim and Sulaiman have been part of several TV reality shows as celebrity judges including the very popular Indian Idol. They were also nominated for a daytime Emmy Award for composing ’Save the Tiger - Wonder Pets’ and continue to spread their love all over the world including their latest collaboration with Lady Gaga - Born This Way and Enrique Iglesias - I’m a Freak.
ABOUT LIVE CONCERT WORLD INC.
Established in North America with over ten years of experience in managing talent and producing live performance events, ranging from international music tours and concerts through to film festivals across the globe. Past events include The Unforgettable Tour featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Abishek Bachchan, Pretty Zinta, Akshay Kumar and Aishwariya Rai and the production of concerts for Sonu Nigam, Asha Bholse, Vishal and Shekhar and Salim-Sulaiman. Moe Jiwan, the Founder & CEO of LCW has lead the way in live entertainment productions, since his instrumental involvement in bringing the 12th International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) to Toronto in 2011.
Firdous Ali Padaniya also known as Feddy Fap is a Rapper, Singer, Song Writer, Dancer, Music Producer, Actor, Model, And A Drummer. He was born on 1st December 1994 In Karachi, Pakistan. He Has Done Commercials, Music Videos, Drama Serials, He is currently Hosting in a Television Show Called Allah Tere Shukar Guzar Bande Only On K 21 News Channel. He Worked with Aisha Khan, Danish Taimoor, Ali Gul Pir, Jawad Ahmed, Nimra Khan, Mathira Khan and other Known Artists.
I have worked as an Actor, Host, Model, Singer, Rapper, Song Writer, Dancer, and a Drummer, with lots of known TV & film artists, directors, channels & radio networks in Pakistan. Like, PAKISTAN RADIO FM 101, PAKISTAN Television Network, GEO TV Network, K 21 TV NEWS, SAMAA TV News, ARY TV Network, HUM TV Network and many more. I have done TV Commercials, Drama Serials, Music Videos, MP3 Songs, Game Shows, Concerts, Dance Shows, Interviews and much more. Some of Projects are on air on different TV channels.
When : Wednesday 26 & Friday 28 October, Wednesday 16 November & Friday 25 November & Wednesday 14 December
Where : V&A Shop
OPEN STUDIO: Visit our first Jameel Prize resident artist Noor Ali Chagani and find out more about his research in the museum’s South and South East Asian collection and his work as a sculptor using hand-made miniature terracotta bricks.
Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Noor Ali Chagani, a Lahore-based artist, creates works comprised of hand-made miniature terracotta bricks to demonstrate his unique take as a sculptor on the tradition of miniature painting. His work revolves around the concept of the absence of home; his quest for a personal space that he can call his own. On a very personal level, Chagani feels that bricks are a symbolic way for him to connect to the rest of the world. His brick works also demonstrate a fascination with the symbolic power of colossal walls, which connote silence and strength. In contrast, Chagani also works with the idea of self-comparison with walls, as obstructive, stagnant objects.
We are delighted to be hosting Noor Ali Chagani this autumn in The Mosaic Rooms studio. Noor Ali Chagani will be doing a residency as the first Jameel Prize Resident at the V&A between October 2016 and early January 2017. The V&A Residency Programme enables creative practitioners to gain unique access to the Museum’s collections, archives and curatorial expertise. His residency is in partnership with Art Jameel.
Noor Ali Chagani was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and holds a BFA in Miniature Painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore. He has since exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Pakistan, India, UAE, UK, Netherlands, Bahrain and United States.
Chagani was one of the shortlisted artists for the V&A’s prestigious Jameel Art Prize 2011 exhibition and international tour. The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. Its aim is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today. He has done residencies at The Rijksakademie in The Netherlands in 2012 and Riwaq Art Space in Bahrain in 2013. Chagani had his first solo exhibition at Leila Heller Gallery, New York, earlier this year.
Based in Lahore, Chagani uses his traditional training to inform his contemporary practice. By combining exquisite miniature traditions with ceramics and the techniques of brickmaking craftsmen, Chagani creates works comprised of hand-made miniature terracotta bricks with applied brush strokes to fluidly depict the imagery in his hometown. Chagani is the first contemporary miniature artist using the rules of miniature paintings in 3D.
“During my residency, I am interested in responding to the V&A’s South and South East Asian miniature collections to produce brick jewellery inspired by the ornamental jewellery worn in the Mughal Court. In my work, the use of bricks takes on several meanings, as a symbolic take on the contemporary world and the physical and emotional labour and toil that is expended in building, the need for security and protection, but also as a reminder of partition and the walls we build between us.”
Preserving heritage: Songs of Pamir ring at Lok Virsa
The beat, strum and tune of traditional drums, rabab, and surnai from the towering mountain ranges of Himalaya filled the air at the Open Folk Theatre of Lok Virsa on Saturday.
Musicians and dancers from the remote Pamir region in Gilgit-Baltistan performed at the theatre on Saturday as part of the “Pamir Musical Festival”, organised by Bulbulik Music School, USAID and Lok Virsa.
Various folk singers and dancers from the Hunza and Gojal valley played traditional music using their traditional instruments at the event.
They were joined by students of the Bulbulik Music School – an initiative of the Gulmit Educational and Social Welfare Society to preserve Wakhi music – sang traditional folk music as well.
Traditional dancers performed Wakhi dances to the folk beat.
The folk music songs which were sung at the event included “Sinsinai” and Kush Ailek Maan Lolo”. Famous singer Fazal Rahman performed Wakhi and Persian songs as well.
Abdul Waheed, the organiser, said that the Bulbulik School was trying to preserve the endangered Pamiri heritage.
Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said that she wanted to impart our rich folk tradition to the younger generation.
Saeed appreciated the participation of women in cultural events.
“We are adding elements of music and dance into the Lok Virsa museum in an attempt to highlight the importance of music and dance in our culture,” said the Lok Virsa Executive Director.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2017.
A sculptor, poet and instrument player, Imran Hunzai lived a rich childhood, learning crafts, playing musical instruments and helping his parents in farming and taking care of domestic livestock.
Born in Hunza to a family of artisans, shepherds and farmers, he was inspired by his grandfather Doulat Shah, who was a self-taught architect and artisan, popular for his skills to design and construct ethnic houses for the local community.
“He was widely respected; there was a barter system and the village folks would reward his services by giving him sheep, bulls and wheat. He loved working for his people regardless of what he was paid in return,” Imran vividly recalls.
“I was inclined to image-making from tender age and my parents would encourage my portrait sketches; it pushed me to move on with my passion to draw.
He joined an art workshop, conducted by Anwar Saeed in Hunza, during 1999. This was his first exposure to the academic art education, which led him to join the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2002 to major in the discipline of sculpture.
During studies, he mastered the skills of sand casting by working with Ustad Younas, a local craftsman of Lahore practicing traditional metal casting techniques.
After experimenting with stone, wood, clay and various unconventional mediums, his first creative expression was kinetic sculptures.
“The first challenge I faced as an artist was how to relate my art with my personal life. They were rooted in my childhood memories of creating toys out of organic materials and junk. The unavailability of ready-made toys was a blessing in disguise that made us creative as compared to our next generation, which can’t create art like us. All their skills are shrunk to operate the ready-made toys and electronic gadgets,” he said in a sombre tone.
His first show ‘Wooden Woes’ in 2007 was wood carvings, based on the verses of Rumi. He worked as a visiting faculty at the National College of Arts, Rawalpindi campus, for a decade. He is among few practicing Pakistani sculptors with four solo shows to his credit.
“I kept on working as a professional artist and run my studio after long working hours on campus. Unlike many other artists, I didn’t join any lobby or group for immediate professional success.
“I carved my way through hard work because I didn’t want my name to be eclipsed by any one,” he believes.
While going through thick and thin of life, music has been his companion to console him.
Skilled in playing rubab, flute, Iranian Sittar, tabla and harmonium, his studio is a welcoming place for young aspirants to learn visual arts and music.
He composes poetry in Urdu and Burushaski, which is his mother language. To promote Burushaski he is writing lyrics and composing songs which are being rendered by vocalist Salman Paras. One of these tracks, released online, got viral last week.
Working with wood and stone since his childhood gave him a good command and control on these mediums. His poetry and sculptures reflect the agony of a common man who is alienated from simple ethnic living, cultural roots and is being ruthlessly exploited by consumerism.
Published in Dawn January 17th, 2017
Zoe Viccaji, Irfan Ali Taj's new song will leave you pining for Chitral
For all those who enjoyed Zoe Viccaji’s collaboration with Irfan Ali Taj in Ashiqi Angar, this one’s for you.
The dynamic duo has returned with Dunya Ju Baso, a soulful track being hailed as a message of love, humanity and togetherness from the mountains of Chitral.
‘Ashiqi Angar brought Chitrali music to the fore’
From lofty mountains to striking flat lands, the video features stunning visuals. Zoe and Irfan are seen clad in local dress, belting out the song to groups of eager children.
Zoe Viccaji takes us to the beautiful north with Hojao Azaad
What truly stand out are are the lyrics. “A har alfaza mohabbat gechi pyar (May each word you utter reflect love),” Zoe and Irfan sing in harmony. “Dunya ju baso, jam tasum boi jami ko (Life consists of two days. Do good and good will be done to you),” another line goes.
Regional music is the originality Pakistan offers to the world: Irfan Ali Taj
Dunya Ju Baso opened to a warm welcome from fans of the singers and musicians following its January 15 release. For musician Zeeshan Parwez, the song left him nostalgic. “I just cannot get enough of this track!” he wrote on his Facebook page recently. “Dunya Ju Baso is so beautifully done; I love what you guys have produced! This makes me want to visit Chitral once again,” he said.
"Ya-Ali" - A devotional song in praise of Imam Ali (A.S.), the successor of Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H.), and the first Imam of Shia Muslims. The song is inspired by an age-old prayer, "Ya Ali", and the motivational phrase, "Himmat ka alam... qadam."
Music, Lyrics & Arrangement: Kamal Haji
Performers: Kamal Haji, Shabana Ratani, Saif Sattani, & Sarah Haji
My mission is to promote and revive the fading cultural heritage of Gilgit Baltistan, To collect the antique embroideries, and cultural pieces of Gilgit Baltistan. Represent cultural shows in international forums and represent Pakistan and specially Gilgit Baltistan. I meet the needle artists and artisans in Gilgit Baltistan specially in Ghizer and encourage them to make and preserve the old traditional embroidery, knitting crochet Qalami, zardozi and iraghi embroidery.
The community marching to the beat of its tradition
For generations, Ismaili Muslims have not only been enrolling their children in Scouts and Guides, but have also been making sure they become part of a band.
The trill of bagpipes pierces the air, and Hasnabad ground in Mazgaon comes alive. The ground hosted an all-India competition of 14 Scouts and Guides bands from Mumbai, Secunderabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Pune, all hailing from the Ismaili Muslim community, on Thursday.
But for these 14, the stage — set against the picturesque backdrop of the mausoleum of the 46th Imam of Ismaili Muslims, Aga Khan I Hasan Ali Shah — was more personal, the opportunity a fulfilment of a timehonoured tradition.
The members come from a long line of Scouts and Guides band performers. This practice ensures that children learn discipline, teamwork and leadership skills at an early age, says Nabil Virani, 28, leader of Aga Khan Baug band from Versova. It is also in line with the community’s spirit of volunteerism.
Virani’s band of 17 is much sought after — it has performed at Mumbai Police’s as well as school functions.
Zeenat Lakhani, chairperson of Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for India, says the aim is “to look beyond themselves and work for others.”
Laila Sabuwala, a ‘cub mistress’ (who organises a pack of Cub Scouts), says every Ismaili family enrols at least one member in Scouts and Guides, and thereafter, a band.
Nancy Lakhani, 15, from Surat, who has been playing the chanter for over a year, says she joined the Guides at the age of five. “I have learnt to be of service to the community.”
The bands played nine instruments — flute, chanter, trumpet, bagpipe, bugle, side drums, tenor drums, bass drums and cymbals — to the tunes of Jolly Good Fellow, White Horse, Slow March, India Gate, Rajasthani and Mexican music.
Voices of Willowdale (Khairunissa Gangani, Munira Premji, Karim Dayani & Salim Nensi) humbly present "Noorun 'ala Noor - Light upon Light ..."
We share this zikr recording with the Jamat worldwide with the hope that it brings you joy and peace.
This is our humble expression of gratitude for our beloved Hazar Imam, for His unconditional and boundless love, His 60 years of tireless efforts in the service of humanity and for being a shining beacon of hope for the world
Track 1 - Allahu Mawlana Ali (1)
Track 2 - Ya Karim Ya Rahim
Track 3 - Ali Guyam Ali Juyam
Track 4 - Allahu Mawlana Ali (2)
Track 5 - Salwaat bar Muhammad
Track 6 - Ali Ali , Ali Mawla
Track 7 - Allahu Mawlana Ali (3)
Track 8 - Pyaasa Tere Deedar ka
Track 9 - Ya Aale Nabi, Aulaade Ali
Track 10 - Allahu Mawlana Ali (4)
Track 11 - Allahu Akbar SubhanAllah
Track 12 - Dam Hama Dam Ali Ali
Track 13 - Allahu Mawlana Ali (5)
Two Ismaili singers making waves in Pakistan: Natasha Baig and Asfar Hussain have made it big!
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON AUGUST 11, 2018
Native of Karachi, both singers hail from Gilgit-Baltistan. Ismailimail has introduced Natasha Baig and Asfar Hussain in the past. The two exceptionally talented singers with unique voice quality, are participating in Coke Studio and Pepsi Battle of the Bands – two of the most popular music shows of Pakistan currently on the airwaves. Natasha Baig has been seen singing with legendary qawwal Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad. Asfar Hussain has sung his original and popular song Raaz-e Fitna (penned by Ismaili poet).
Follow the two shows to experience the music of Pakistan, and these two young artist’s journey.
Bayaan | Yeh Watan | Episode 5 | Pepsi Battle of the Bands | Season 3
Poem by Hina Zamir Noori: “The One”
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON AUGUST 16, 2018
“You; are, You were, and will be, The Creator
Made the whole universe, The Mighty, The Greater
You’re the Source of everything,
The Song-that each particle sing.
I feel and feel You everywhere
Like the atoms in the air
Your existence has no history
Crystal Clear, yet a mystery
The clues that shows ways to reach you
But staying still was the path I knew
You talk to us every second
We are deaf but this is not the end
You show us Yourself daily
We’re blind,see You barely
It seems to be difficult yet simple
After all ! coincidences are not accidental
You are within me and I belong to You
Let my Heart open…
I want to see You
I want to feel You
I want to Love You”
— Hina Zamir Noori
Hina is from Madaklasht Chitral, Pakistan. She is a research scholor studying M.phil Biotechnology at University Of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Nai Syrian Children's Choir Premiere Hussein Janmohamed‘s Rise Children, Rise to Peace
In 2016, a Canadian choir was formed to provide free music education to recently arrived refugee children from Syria. A mere two years later, the Nai Syrian Children's Choir was invited to sing during Classical Movements' 8th annual Serenade! Choral Festival "Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice & Unity" grand finale.
However, Nai was unable to travel to the United States.
Instead, a special recording was made of these tender-aged children performing two songs, including the world premiere of “Rise Children, Rise to Peace,” composed by Hussein Janmohamed as part of Classical Movements’ Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program.
This performance video has been possible thanks to the generosity of...
Aaron Jensen and Countermeasure (Videography and Workshop)
Al Green Theatre of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (Venue Space)
Toronto Pearson Airport (Costumes)
Nai Syrian Children’s Choir is a CultureLink program funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation: www.naikids.com
Poem Jibran Sharif: To The People Of Earth
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON AUGUST 21, 2018
To The People Of Earth
O people of the earth why don’t you see
The world around you, the mountain, the sea
The hills stand still, the trees that grows
The land that moves, river that flows
A systematic order, a universe with balance
It’s the power of the Lord of Earth and Heavens
Can’t you remember the promise you made
It’s a world of illusion, one day it’ll fade
No material is of use, everything’s fake
The useful will be only the good deeds you make
You will then return to your Lord, your Creator
From Whom no one’s match, and no one’s greater
Wake up early, before the sun, and pray
Emit positive energy, every night, every day
When the dead are asleep, pray, in the night
With satan and your will, fight, fight and fight
With them you will only get astray
See His Signs, listen to Him, then you’ll find a way
How can you be lost in the world of illusion
How can you follow the people of intrusion
The pleasure, the wealth, everything’s fake here
Imitate these infidels, you won’t find way back there
Even if for one second, you realize you’re lost
Come back, He’ll accept you, He is very just
I was a wrongdoer, lost, just like you
He accepted me still, you come back too
You will feel nothing but joy and peace
What you’ve been missing, you’ll gain, at ease
You’ve been reminded by a person named Jabir
Don’t be like one which “The Book” refers “Kafir”
Jibran Sharif is from Lone Chitral, Pakistan. He writes with his pen name “Jabir”. He is a writer and poet studying sociology at the University of Peshawar. In this poem, Jibran has written a poetry on the signs of God and The truth. His poetry is based on the knowledge of Quran. Each one of his words represent meaning and philosophy of the Quranic knowledge.
'Sound Diaries’ explores authentic, natural sounds of Pakistan
But while that may not be an unexplored territory, a new project called Sound Diaries attempts to do the same in a better and more unique manner. Karim Barolia, a self-proclaimed environmental musician who has been working in the audio production for several years, and Aamish Hussain, an accountant by profession and an avid traveller, collaborated to initiate Sound Diaries.
Speaking with The Express Tribune, Barolia shared he met Hussain last year, and they decided to combine their knowledge of sound and travel for a project that later came to be known as Sound Diaries. “Aamish wanted to travel to different areas and highlight the music of different regions so he brought me in. Vlogs with musicians and all are very common these days. Therefore, I felt just recording their music was quite ordinary. We wanted to make it unique. And we decided that we wanted to highlight sounds of Pakistan, not just go and record musicians performing,” he said.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to be selected to perform in front of EIGHT members of His Highness Aga Khan's family (Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa and their 2 kids: Prince Sinan and Prince Irfan. Princess Zahra was accompanied by her 2 kids, Prince Ilyan and Princess Sarah); and thousands of people from the global Jamat! I was deeply humbled and beyond honored to represent the USA before them, though honestly, in my heart it felt like I was representing ONE (global) Jamat. It was a moment that will stay with me FOREVER. Hearing my fathers name in the intro video, allowed me to pay homage to him in a way I could’ve never imagined. Seeing familiar faces from the Florida Jamat, and a past life in Dubai warmed my heart. Just watching everyone’s faces with huge smiles, clapping, cheering, dancing together as ONE displayed the power of music itself. In that brief moment, no matter who we were, where we were from, what language we spoke....NOTHING mattered. Thank you to all who have been there throughout my journey.
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