Efforts to keep violin alive

October 20, 2013


Several schools and academies offering violin lessons have opened in the city in recent times. Many individuals also have played a significant role in promoting this music genre and among them Ghulam Ali Lahooti’s name stands out.

Lahooti, a 2008 graduate of the National College of Arts’ Musicology Department, recently launched first video album titled ‘Violin of Dream’. The video, based on violin playback, was shot in Lahore, Islamabad and Murree. Plinker, a private production house, collaborated on the project. It was directed by Bilal Shah and cinematography is by Adnan. The video will go on air on all TV channels in the next few days. Lahooti has also established a violin school at Gulberg. He is the first musicology student in the country, who did his thesis on violin in 2008.

Violin, also known as fiddle, is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola, cello and double bass. Someone who plays the violin is called a violinist or a fiddler. The violinist produces sound by drawing a bow across one or more strings (which may be stopped by the fingers of the other hand to produce a full range of pitches), by plucking the strings (with either hand), or by a variety of other techniques.

The violin is played by musicians in a wide variety of musical genres including Baroque, classical, jazz, folk, rock and roll, and Soft rock.

Azad Theatre is making its name as a serious theatre. A few months ago it announced a stage play writing competition and received 22 scripts from all over the country. It has short-listed five scripts and will start rehearsals of the top prize winning play in November.

Malik Aslam, the theatre director, told this reporter that a ceremony would be held on Dec 1 in which the other two winning plays would also be announced. He said a few plays on women issues would be staged in Sialkot.

An exhibition of contemporary prints by Saba Husain will open at the Alhamra Art Gallery, The Mall, on Oct 23. The exhibition is being organised in connection with the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Lahore Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the Lahore Arts Council.

The exhibition titled ‘Evolving Imagery Ukiyo–E- Contemporary Prints from Japan’ will be inaugurated by Hiroshi Inomata, the ambassador of Japan to Pakistan. The programme will include an art and speech competition and a photo panel exhibition.

Restoration and conservation of the projects left incomplete in June last year are expected to be back on track in the next few months. These projects of Lahore Fort include Lal Burj, Kala Burj, picture wall and Shish Mahal Courtyard.

An official of the Archaeology Department told this reporter that Rs8 million to Rs10 million were expected to be released in the coming week for these projects. As the funds would be available, he said, the department would invite tenders afresh.

Actress-turned-politician Kanwal has regretted the Lahore Arts Council’s failure to invite senior film and television artistes to cultural events.

Kanwal told Dawn that she would hold a meeting with arts councils to ask them to hold tribute evenings for senior artistes such as Habib, Humayun Qureshi and Ali Ejaz.

She said senior artistes were not invited to cultural events. She said she would soon submit a proposal to the chief minister to make the presence of senior artistes at such events necessary so that they could be given due respect.