Only a while ago, the festivities for social revival brought Lahore and Karachi to life with the Lahore Literature Festival and Karachi Eat Food Festival. This relatively new concept provided the right platform conducive to the creativity of likeminded people to generate ideas for pursuing their interests. Following suit, Lahore Music Meet (LMM) brings you another festival with a hope to revive the appreciation of music that already exists with the soundscapes of Pakistan. It is set to take the city by storm on the April 4 and 5.
The creative minds behind the event are Natasha Noorani, Noor Habib, Zahra Paracha and Hasan Abbas.
“Our primary aim is to engender recognition and appreciation of many artists producing music in the country but receiving little or no recognition. The issue we identified at the outset, and which has been foremost in our planning, has been the fragmented nature of the industry,” Noorani told The Express Tribune. The LMM hopes to unleash the social potential of music to help accelerate its growth in Pakistan. Habib said, “We hope to get music enthusiasts from across the music spectrum to come and generate a dialogue about all the possibilities and problems in Pakistani music today. We hope to represent all the different voices and histories of music, as much as possible. We want to be that platform which is free and accessible for all sorts of individuals.”
With lack of institutions to foster the talent and limited access to recording studios, only selective music with commercial appeal gets corporate patronage. There is unavailability of appropriate resources to encourage creativity and output. Noorani agreed, saying, “There are constraints in mainstream discourse; certain genres and types of artists are not nurtured, music in general tends to be frowned upon and music as a career is rarely seen as a feasible and legitimate career.”
“The idea behind this event is to create opportunities and inspire in order to nurture a culture of dialogue to help the industry flourish and mature in Pakistan,” she added.
Sharing her views, Paracha said, “The social reputation of music isn’t that great in Pakistan, and this extends to the image of the musician.” There is also a gradual shortage of platforms to express and perform in Pakistan. LLM is the answer to these issues which are considered uncontrollable by the masses.
Garnering general response towards their initiative, Noorani said, “It has been extremely encouraging. Considering it’s the first event of its nature, musicians and music enthusiasts have shown great interest and support given that most people recognise precisely the sort of problems we attempted to identify and address.”
The event will feature panel discussions and storytelling sessions by the members of the industry through Skype or any other medium. A number of renowned speakers will be invited to discuss the present and future of music in Pakistan. Workshops will be conducted by established musicians to demonstrate various techniques and discuss music conceptually and thematically through their own experience.
It is commendable that the organisers will introduce multi-lingual sessions in English, Urdu and even Punjabi to ensure the greatest number of connectivity with the audience for ‘music has no language.’ The title of the event itself is ‘Lahore Mehfil-e-Moseequi’ in their Urdu campaign.
The sessions will be followed by live music by the likes of Ustad Naseerudin Sami, Asrar, Jimmy Khan and Nighat Chaudhry.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2015.