Sounds of Kolachi echo in Lahooti Music Ashram

Contemporary musicians from Karachi gather in Jamshoro for short live performance

Our Correspondent July 22, 2015
Sounds of Kolachi is a project of Raahi vocalist Ahsan Bari (R) and former Karavan bassist Sameer Ahmed Bakhtiari (L). PHOTOS: FILE

KARACHI: With each passing concert Lahooti Music Ashram is gradually becoming a cultural hub for musicians from all over Pakistan. The Ashram has played host to musicians not only from interior Sindh but also from urban centres like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Karachi-based band, Sounds of Kolachi, which is gradually building a niche following of its own with their unique musical styling’s, recently made a trip to the Lahooti Music Ashram to perform for local audiences. Though they performed a very short set of five songs but that was good enough for the audiences to get a flavour of jazz fused with eastern classical and at places, even rock music.

“Ahsan Bari (of Sounds of Kolachi) and I have been friends for a long time. After I had heard Sounds of Kolachi perform in Karachi I was very keen on bringing them over to Lahooti [Music Ashram],” Saif Samejo, founder of Lahooti Live Session and Lahooti Music Ashram told The Express Tribune.

Even though this is not the first time that an ‘outside-band’ has come to perform in the vicinity, Samejo still terms it as a very enriching experience for those in attendance. “Sindh is mainly known for its folk music scene and musicians like Bell, Arieb Azhar, Mary McBride and Sounds of Kolachi  provides audiences with a chance to experience a new style of music.”

He added that such events not only help local audiences develop a taste for new music but would also serve as an opportunity to interact with mainstream musicians. “These concerts are like self-improvement opportunities for not only the local artistes but also those who are coming to perform here.”

Samejo remains adamant that the primary purpose of the Ashram will continue to be the preservation of folk music of the region. “We want to encourage more folk musicians to come and perform at this platform and collaborate with other artistes,” stated Samejo.

Having recorded countless artistes both in the studio and during live performances, Samejo already has plans in place to release multiple albums.

“We have hundreds of hours of recording and would like to utilise them by releasing a studio and live album. In the current times when everything is going digital I would still try and have a soft launch and release a few CDs as well, so that we can promote our music on all platforms.”

With no specific timeframe in mind Samejo has also hinted at a major collaboration between Sounds of Kolachi and The Sketches on a “fusion song”.

At the end of their performance, Bari announced that Sounds of Kolachi will be doing a series of concerts in Karachi from August onwards. “This is just a teaser of what is to come in the near future,” Bari told The Express Tribune. “We are trying to do something more experimental this time around and are hopeful that the audience’s tastes will evolve along with the evolution of our music.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.

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