KARACHI: Following the resounding success of Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders, Tehzeeb Foundation is set to release its forthcoming album, Indus Raag 2 – Karachi Concerts. While the successor to the 2015 Grammy entry will see a digital release in the next few days, the CD pack will hit stores after Eidul Fitr.
Talking to The Express Tribune, album producer and the foundation’s patron Sharif Awan said Indus Raag 2 is currently in the final phase of production. “The CDs were done in China and we have already received them. There is only some packaging bit left which is being carried out in Lahore,” he said.
Awan said the acclaimed 2012 album Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders set the groundwork for the foundation’s subsequent activities. “It was so well received. We have already done four editions of Indus Raag 1.” The music curator said he has plans on putting a fifth edition of the album in January 2017. “It still has a market so we will continue to work on that end.”
Coming to Indus Raag 2 – Karachi Concerts, Awan said the record basically is a product of whatever the foundation has been able to do, in the provincial capital, since its inception. “This one is Karachi specific. It is an album that contains recordings made at live shows.”
A sequel to its predecessor, Indus Raag 2 – Karachi Concerts comprises 10 hours worth of live recordings that feature as many as 65 musicians from Pakistan, India, UK, Germany, France and Turkey. Recorded between 2009 and 2015, the record includes names such as Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, Grammy-winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the Gundecha Brothers and Ashraf Sharif Khan. Furthermore, acts as diverse as Sam Carter, Caravan Quartet, Julian Joseph, Abaji and Simon Thacker have also recorded for Indus Raag 2 – Karachi Concerts. The physical copy of the album includes 6 audio CDs and a DVD.
Awan said Indus Raag 2 attempts to capture the soundscape of the metropolis itself. “The city pulses to a distinct rhythm of its own. The album aims to pull together all the peculiar melodic flavours of this mini Pakistan,” he added.
Initiated under the auspices of the foundation that was established in 2008, the Indus Raag Project aims to archive and promote the legacy of sub-continental music tradition.
Although Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders did not win at 57th Grammys, it did become Pakistan’s first indigenous entry to get shortlisted for the prestigious event.
Recently the foundation also contributed to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization music album project with a single, Gulsher, dedicated to the victims of the horrific Army Public School attack. Sung by Zoe Viccaji and produced by the veteran Arshad Mahmud, the song tells the story of a 13-year-old schoolboy and his five-year-old brother Shamsher. Penned by Harris Khalique, Gulsher also contains recitals of Zia Mohyeddin.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2016.