ISLAMABAD: The queen of Sufi music Abida Parveen celebrated the first anniversary of her boutique and art gallery, AP Gallerie, on Friday with friends and family. However, the festivity did not only mark the completion of her gallery’s first year but also the launch of her first-ever personal music album, Ru-e-Ali, for which she has collaborated with film-maker and poet Raja Muzaffar Ali and composer Sir John Kenneth Tavener.
While previously Parveen always handed over her music to recording labels, this particular album is unique in the sense that it is the first one that Parveen has released herself. The title song, Ru-e-Ali (Soul of Ali) played in the background setting a rather soothing environment at the evening and resonated through the gallery as guests mingled over a lavish iftar dinner.
Prominent faces at the event included renowned psychiatrists Dr Malik Mubasher and Dr Moadad Rana, Iqra University’s Chancellor and Young Presidents’ Organisation’s chairperson Hunaid Lakhani, US Embassy Chief of Staff John Trusdale, politician Zafar Bhitani and event manager Rezz Aly Shah.
“Little do people know about Abida’s spiritual side. She is a phenomenon and an institution,” said Mubahser. As her ‘murshid’, he shared how Parveen helped shape his outlook on spirituality and life in general.
Dr Mubasher’s daughter Fatima recently attended one of Parveen’s performances at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. “She has that vibe that entraps you and you are in awe of her, it feels like you are on a pilgrimage,” she said while recalling the meditative chant of her song Maula.
“Objectively speaking, Parveen started out as a singer from a small province but has grown like a tree that bears different fruits and flowers and gives shade to others. Her voice connects people and that is what her music is all about – it is the voice of her soul,” claims Dr Rana
Event manager Shah, too, expressed his deep love and admiration for her. He also appreciated the expanding cultural landscape where legendary artists like Parveen were investing their time and energies to give way to wider perspectives.
The double-storey gallery that is managed by Parveen’s children, showcases various clothing labels, pure-gold jewellery, paintings and artifacts, and comes closest to being an artist’s museum where the intertwined spheres of poetry, music and art come together.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.
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