CHITRAL: The first-ever album of Khowar folk songs has been widely appreciated by music lovers, who term it an invaluable effort to preserve the treasure of old songs, which are subject to corrosion in the modern age.

A project of Anwar Aman’s Initiative for Music (AAIM), the album is named ‘Hoop Gie’. The album, consisting of three popular songs sung by Mansoor Shabab, has been recorded in an Islamabad-based studio using local and non-local musical instruments.

Addressing the launching ceremony of the album, Prof Mumtaz Hussain, Prof Tajuddin Sharar, Ali Akbar Qazi, Zuhoorul Haq Danish and renowned poet and singer Iqbaluddin Sahar said that all the folk songs of Chitral depicted the heroic role of women.

They said that the folk songs transmitted tender messages of universal importance and excluded no section of life. It was a matter of pride that an effective message regarding the preservation of wildlife had been portrayed in one of the songs of 18th century AD, they added.

“The epic episode of the forbearance and bravery exhibited by the mother of a young polo player on his brutal murder by the despot of the time in Shoghore village 200 years ago still inspires the young generation to act like a lion in the face of hardships of life instead of resignation to the adverse situation,” they said.

Music album comprising three popular numbers launched

They said that in the folk song ‘Nano Begal’, the woman kept the murder of her only son (Begal) by the ruler a secret and instead of wailing and mourning in grief, she rode the horse of her son attired in polo dress and defeated again the ruler and unmasked her face after the match and admonished the prince for murdering her son just because he defeated him in the game.

The additional deputy commissioner, Abdul Wali Khan, said that Chitrali culture was rich in its contents and quality and was second to none in the region as it had a wide diversity.

He appreciated the spirit evinced by Anwar Aman, who has come forward with the idea of preserving the folk songs despite his hectic activities in the United States where he is settled and said that the attempt will go a long way in preservation process of the language.

The audience jam-packed in the hall of a local hotel was enthralled when the video album was played on the big screen for which the services of an Islamabad-based recording company were hired.

Anwar Aman said that almost all the folk songs would be included in the forthcoming albums.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020