mohib ali khamisu, sindhi folk music
Mohib Ali Khamisu.

ISLAMABAD: A musical evening to raise funds for the widow of a folk Sindhi musician, suffering from cancer, was organised here on Saturday.

It was a pleasant evening, and an eclectic mix of people sat in the lawns of Kuch Khaas, listening to folk tunes from alghoza (double flute) and dholak.

Sunlight slowly filtered through the leaves surrounding the stage and the lawn, as performers began to warm up.

“The widow of the legendary and celebrated Sindhi alghoza player Khamisu Khan is suffering from cancer. Two of her sons agreed to perform and help raise funds for her treatment,” said Umair Jaffar, whose organisation, Institute for Preservation of Arts and Culture (IPAC), supports and promotes local artists.

“Welfare of the artists is the main component of what we do at IPAC,” said Umair Jaffar, explaining how IPAC had helped local musicians in need of assistance.

Maria Ahmed in the audience said that it was a small contribution to the Khamisu family for promoting and evolving this rare musical instrument. “Their contribution to keep the tradition is undeniable,” said the music lover.

Mohib Ali Khamisu, the son of the legendary musician, was the first to perform an instrumental on his alghoza. Sweet romance and high level of folk melody flowed out when Faiz Mohammad plucked the strings of the tiny mouth-held stringed instrument.

Faiz also accompanied Mohib Ali Khamisu on the dholak for a breathtaking solo.

A large number of diplomats in the audience enjoyed the soothing and harmonious instrumental performance on the alghoza and the sounds were almost spiritually alleviating.

“It felt as if the whole world was connected to the sound of music and everything synced to the rhythm of the tune,” said one audience member, enthralled by the performance.

“Mystical, breathtaking, and soulful were some of the words to describe the music of the two Khamisu brothers,” said another audience member, explaining how she felt everything around her to be flowing to the tune of the music.

The last performance was by famous local artists Ustad Fateh Ali Khan Hyderabadi of the Gawalior Gharana who performed rag puriya dhanasri, a performance that lasted several minutes and the singer introduced the audience to its basic elements.

In the middle of the show a decorated flute was auctioned for Rs16,000 to raise funds. On their way out, guests also bought CDs of Ustad Khamisu Khan and t-shirts to help raise funds. — Jamal Shahid

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