ISLAMABAD: Musicians from Gilgit-Baltistan took the stage at the Pakistan National Council of Arts on Saturday to perform music inspired by the poetry of the late Nasir Al Din Hunzai.

The three-hour concert titled ‘Mystical Musical Colours of Karakoram’ featured spiritual poetry from northern Pakistan.

The concert had an intimate atmosphere that felt less like a performance and more like the musicians were singing to a group of friends.

The concert began with a prayer by Mehrangez Mir leading a choir. Later, vocalists such as Gul Bahar Shah, Anwar Ali and Farzand Ali, Abid Karim and Tasneem Kausar performed a variety of arrangements, from serious to contemplative. The instrumentation was simple, with the rubab, Chitrali sitar and daf.

Akbar Khamiso Khan was a pleasure to watch live. The instrumental folk alghoza player’s warm and passionate traditional music crossed from one part of the country to another.

“I remembered why we love Akbar Khamiso’s inspiring and cheerful solo performances. He always brings joy to with him when he plays the alghoza,” audience member Imran Nasir said.

Another Akbar Khamiso fan, Bilal Khan, said that his songs are full of breathtaking texture.

Mehrangez Mir also took the lead when it came to vocals, while rubab runs and daf beats moved the compositions. She was at her best, with harmonies working smoothly, complemented by her backup vocalists.

Irum Munir, in the audience, said she was celebrating her birthday and the concert was a wonderful way to spend the night.

Another member of the audience described the concert an outpouring of happiness.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2020