Sitarist Maciszewski mesmerises Napa audience

07 Aug 2018


Dr Amie Maciszewski performs at Napa on Sunday evening.—White Star
Dr Amie Maciszewski performs at Napa on Sunday evening.—White Star

KARACHI: Following a night of Sicilian music, the auditorium at the National Academy of Performing Arts on Sunday resounded with a stellar performance by sitarist Dr Amie Maciszewski, who dedicated her performance to longing and love.

Calling herself a social action artist, public ethnomusicologist, lover of humanity and nature, Dr Maciszewski spoke about her love for the sitar, and how it had opened up new frontiers, exposed her to new cultures, and allowed her to meet new people and travel extensively.

On the tabla accompanying her was the legendary Ustad Bashir, and the first performance by the two was Raga Jaijaiwanti. Harnessing the nostalgia of a time lost, and of love betrayed, her performance made the audience feel the loss and the sorrow potently.

Dr Maciszewski is fluent in Hindi and Urdu, and so connected very easily with the faculty and the students at Napa.

She even conversed with the audience in Urdu about her love for the sitar, and the pride she took in performing with Ustad Bashir.

She paid particular thanks to Ustad Nafees for his opening performance that she said was simply mesmerising, making it difficult to perform after.

Apart from being a sitarist, Dr Maciszewski is also a teaching artist, and ethnomusicologist who founded and runs Sangeet Millennium. The initiative presents mainly traditional, but also new music and dance of the Indian subcontinent through collaborative and interactive performance, workshops, classes, festivals, and sometimes films. During her stay she gave workshops to Napa students.

Her other performances of the night included the raag jog, in rupak taal, and bhairavi. Ustad Nafees also performed with Napa students.

On Saturday vocalist Francesca Incudine had performed to a packed audience and on Sunday it was Dr Maciszewski.

Arshad Mehmood, director programmes at Napa, expressed his delight at allowing the Pakistani audience to sample a new musical flavour.

He also shared that Napa’s Independence Day celebrations would include a performance by music students and faculty at 8pm.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2018