Instrumentalists turn out to be at their best


ISLAMABAD, Aug. 6 (TNS): The diversity of Pakistani tunes and rhythm assembled the cultural identity of the country at the Instrumental Music Night on the second day of the National Music Festival being organized by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) to mark the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan.

All the leading and representative instrumentalists from across the country enthralled the jam-packed house Saturday night. The musicians played musing and soul soothing tunes to make the audience sway with their escalating emotions and feelings.

Every other minute the hall echoed with a big applause to appreciate the maestros for playing with the strings of sitar, sarinda, siroad, violin, rabab and the rhythms of tabla, a pair of two small drums played altogether, and enchanting melodies on alghoza, a combination of two flutes, that is one of the traditional music instruments from the Sindh province, and finally the thrilling performance of dhol, the identity of the Punjabi culture.

Played by the finest Pakistani violinist Raees Ahmed, the old Urdu melodies on violin were the main attraction of the show. The recipient of President’s Pride of Performance award and Sitara-e-Imtiaz Ustad Raees Ahmed has attained the top in instrumental music in Pakistan. He is well appreciated and adored for his masterly played compositions arranged by the old maestros of the music composers in the subcontinent.

Sitar has always been the elite music instrument in the music history of the subcontinent for centuries. Sajis Hissain from Karachi showed his skills justifiably being invited to Islamabad, the federal capital on the other edge of the country. The tunes on sitar directly penetrate into the souls of the listeners.

Ejaz Sarhadi opened the show with ever living music compositions of Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He is the son of great Sarinda playe Nemat Sarhadi who gave a new life to this instrument from the tribal belt of Pakistan. This part of Pakistan is known for its own traditions and folk heritage and music despite of all rigid societal behaviours. The promotion of folk heritage and music would certainly help in the subsiding the culture of intolerance and violence.

The Sindh province is the land of saints and Sufis that appreciates and promotes the traditional culture where the folk music is embedded with the affection and love of dhamaal and qawali. Though is not associated with the musical rendering in and around shrines and tombs, it is considered as the identity of the Indus territory.

Khameesoo Khan, the instrumentalist, and alghoza, the music instrument, has been one soul altogether. His son Akbar Khameesoo Khan continued the tradition with all dedication to keep alive the musical instrument and the tunes played on it. He performed very well as he was expected to.

Rabab is another key music instrument from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ghulab Khel who is a Khattak dancer, singer and musician is carrying the tradition very well. Recently he also accompanied the Pakistan Culture Troupe to China. His performance on rabab on the beat of tabla, played by Ejaz jajji, was one of the main attractions.

The Balochi music was represented by a team of instrumentalists led by a popular Siroad palyer Sachoo Khan. The best of Balochi music was played on the rhythm of tabla by Ejaz Jajji who also accompanied the maestro of tabla playing Ustad Muhammad Ajmal Khan. Ajmal’s skills and mastery on tabla is simply unmatchable.

Shahnai is the instrument from South Punjab that is usually played on the happy occasions such as wedding and on other celebrative events. Ejaz Hussain from Multan was accompanied by Khizar Abbas on naqqara and other instrument to giver beat to the compositions being played on shahnai.

Dhol has ever been the best for a big shout out of the joy. Shaukat Ali Sheikh from Hafizabad, a town in the district Gujranwala, mesmerised the audience with unique and thrilling performance.