The many wonders of music

Published May 23, 2022
A young artist performs at the All Pakistan Music Conference.
—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
A young artist performs at the All Pakistan Music Conference. —Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The 19th edition of the All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) held at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi on Saturday evening, will be remembered for not just the art that it promotes, but for the artists that seek to entertain the audience under any circumstance.

It also needs to be kept in mind, as highlighted by the host of the event Rizwan Zaidi and Shai, that the annual conference that lasted just a single evening was taking place in-person after a gap of a couple of years.

In between, it kept the effort going through online programmes. So kudos to its organisers! The theme of this year’s edition was Khayal.

The concert started off with Izzat Ali Khan’s rendition of raga bageshri. Barely in his teens, perhaps even younger, he is the son of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan of the Gwaliar gharana. As expected, he did a nice job, well appreciated by the audience.

Artists delight audience at the All Pakistan Music Conference

The young man has oodles of talent, without a shadow of doubt, but he seems to think too much about his fellow musicians on stage, much like an established artist. If he can concentrate more on polishing his art, he will go places.

Now comes the most sensitive part of the whole show. The second performer of the day was the young sarangi player Gul Mohammad, who has already made his mark in the world of music by virtue of his gentle handling of the instrument and subtle playing of the notes.

This writer was informed by Sharif Awan, and was later conafirmed by the musician’s father, that only a few days back Gul’s three-month-old daughter had died. It was extremely saddening to know. And yet, he played raga chaurkeshi on the sarangi without giving any inkling to the listeners what he had just gone through.

Next up was Salman Haider, who gave a performance of raga shyam kalyan. He has become a regular feature of classical music events, justifiably so.

He was followed by Imran Ilyas of the Patiala gharana. His khayal centred on raga ram saakh. The young vocalist’s control of his voice, especially when he hits the lower notes, is remarkable.

The other performers who were on the programme’s list were Mohammad Hanif Khan, Urooj Sami, Vijay Kumar, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022

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