KARACHI: With Sahira Kazmi being the only celebrity spotted in a small crowd, the first night of classical tides presented by Napa Alumni Music Ensemble (NAME) was a low key affair.
Hosted by ace musician Arshad Mehmood, the three-day event kick-started Sunday evening at the Arts Council.
Titled Gana Bajana: Ustad Say Shagird, the programme is aimed to bring a mix of performances by classical music veterans and the students of Napa.
The opening day of Gana Bajana: Ustad Say Shagird was dedicated to ustads (music maestros), who made vocal and instrumental performances.
The first to appear on stage was Ustad Salamat Ali accompanied by Ustad Basheer Khan on tabla and Mohammad Hussain on harmonium. Ali performed on a kheyal “Balma Maan Tosey Lagaay” and a thumri “Aa Jao Ab Des Sajanwa”. The performance marked a successful start to an on going event.
Next in the show was a duet of tabla player Ustad Basheer Khan and harmonium player Mohammad Hussain. The duo struck the right chord with the audience.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ali said, “Such events should take place so that the general public and media know what Napa is currently doing. This, I believe, is a good initiative.”
To Ali, events like Gana Bajana: Ustad Say Shagird have limitless repercussions.
“I believe that art is a way of knowing a nation’s identity, when it reaches to the public. Trust grows among people, who view art from a better perspective, when they get to know what an institute like Napa is currently doing,” he added.
The evening reached its climax when flute player Ustad Salamat Hussain took the floor to perform “Rag Madhook.” With his feat complemented by Ustad Basheer Khan on tabla, the audience as mesmerised.
Known for duets with the tabla player Peer Mohammad, this was the first time that Hussain performed with Basheer Khan.
The guests were further overwhelmed as the music of pahari bansari (the flute used in mountainous terrain) was introduced in the show. The instrument was played on a Sindhi song “Mor Thou Tilay Rana”. The popularity of “Mor Thou Tilay Rana” added to the feat’s success.
The evening’s last performance was by sitar player Ustad Nafees Ahmed, accompanied by tabla player Ustad Basheer Khan. Ahmed performed “Rag Chandraprabahu”, strong and melodious from the very beginning.
Sharing his thoughts on classical music, Ahmed said, “Music is good psychologically. It leaves an impact on the mind and the soul of a person.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2011.
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