Serene music emanated from the hall, as classical musicians of Pakistan and Hungary played at Marriot on Wednesday evening. The audience cheered and clapped as the diverse ragas merged together in the air.
Pakistani classical singers Suraj Khan and Chand Khan along with Hungarian singer Katalin Burns enthralled the audience with an upbeat performance.
The local musicians performed verses from the kalam of the sufi poet Baba Shah Hussain, accompanied by notes of tabla, harmonica and flute. “I don’t really understand what he is singing, but it sounds very beautiful,” said an appreciative foreigner.
Burns sang traditional Hungarian folk songs. “My song is a love ballad about the moon and the stars and a loved one,” she told a spell-bound audience.
Her strong vocals blended perfectly with the desi duo’s powerful ragas as they attained a crescendo. The audience, in turn, responded by swaying and clapping to the thumping beat of the tabla.
For a brief moment, the hall was engulfed into darkness: a stark reminder of the ongoing power crisis. However, this glitch did not dampen the spirit of the performers as Burns continued onto her last song of the night, singing an ode to spring.
“In Hungary, we don’t have such long summers so this song represents a call to nature and welcoming spring,” she said.
She sang and caught the listeners with surprise with the immensely popular folk song “laal meri path” which received loud cheers and hoots (especially from Pakistanis) as she was joined by Suraj and Chand.
The Hungarian ambassador thanked the audience and the performers for sharing a wonderful night together and awarded the performers souvenir and bouquets.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.
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