Tugs at heart strings: Rendition of kafi

The speakers recommended that kafi singing should be promoted through television and radio shows.


Our Correspondent December 23, 2013
According to Ustaad Ameer Ali, a musician and a singer, the musical arrangement includes yaktaro (a single-stringed instrument), harmonium, tabla, dholak, clapperstick and vocalist. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI:


Although performance of kafi has attained varied poetic and musical forms, the kernel remains centered on the dialogue between the soul and its creator as symbolised by mureed (disciple) and murshid (master).

According to Ustaad Ameer Ali, a musician and a singer, the musical arrangement includes yaktaro (a single-stringed instrument), harmonium, tabla, dholak, clapperstick and vocalist. “However, more accentuation is given to the words rather than music to convey the crux of mystical lyrics.”


“The mystics used poetic rendition to communicate their sublime ideas about spirituality in a very effective way,” said Imdad Hussaini, a writer and a poet.

Hussaini believes that singing kafi with musical remix will be a disservice to both the poetry and the music. “Blending lyrics of kafi with modern music, as embodied by percussion or brass instruments, is like adapting a disparate amalgam of euphony and cacophony in one.”

Hussaini lamented that there is a dearth of research work on this genre of poetry. The speakers recommended that kafi singing should be promoted through television and radio shows by making it an essential feature of celebratory events as it used to be in the past.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2013.

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