Folk-modern fusion: Khumariyaan stirs crowd with new track

Published: September 14, 2015
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The event included various other performances, including the Khattak Dance by a troupe of FC, and instrumental and vocal performances by sitar player Zainullah and singer Zarsanga Khan from K-P. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

The event included various other performances, including the Khattak Dance by a troupe of FC, and instrumental and vocal performances by sitar player Zainullah and singer Zarsanga Khan from K-P. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: With new hues added to the centuries-old rubab, jhanjar, dhol and Pashto folk-music, the fusion band ‘Khumariyaan’ launched their second track ‘Tamasha’ at Lok Virsa.

Nearly a thousand students and music lovers thronged the ‘Music Freedom Concert’ at the Open Air Theatre in Shakarparian, and danced to the energetic sounds of the band on Saturday.

The event was organised and funded by the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN), in collaboration with Black Box Sounds and Lok Virsa.

Khumariyaan comprises Farhan Bogra on rubab, Shiraz Khan on Jembe, with Sparlay Rawail and Aamer Shafiq on guitars.

The event began with a video message by US Embassy Cultural Attaché Dr Daniel S Mattern, followed by musical and dance performances by various artists.

The alumni representative Haseeb Kiyani presented a video highlighting the network’s initiatives. It showcased various beneficiaries of small grants in the social community service. An instrumental performance by Zainullah from Chitral, a sitar player for 25 years, set the mood for the event.

A ‘Khattak dance’ group from the Frontier Corps paramilitary outfit performed dance movements specific to celebrating the wheat harvesting season in the northern areas of the country. Renowned folk vocalist Zarsanga Khan also performed amid a charged and dancing audience.

The event included various other performances, including the Khattak Dance by a troupe of FC, and instrumental and vocal performances by sitar player Zainullah and singer Zarsanga Khan from K-P. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

“Pakistan seems to be coming back to life through such initiatives,” said renowned television actor Samina Ahmad, adding that “[the] arts council used to have such programmes a long time ago, but none have taken place in recent years.”

“Enjoy the music, enjoy the fusion; never let go off your roots,” she said.

Speaking to the audience before their performance, Bogra said there is no music school in the country. He also lamented the lack of facility for new musicians to easily record their work.

“As newcomers to the field with budget constraints, we faced difficulties in recording these songs,” he said.

Khumariyaan performed ‘Bella’, ‘Sheenai’, ‘Kata’ and ‘Malanga Yara’. They closed the show with their new track ‘Tamasha’, to the jubilation of the audience.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th,  2015.

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