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Tuningin: Legends live on

May 30, 2010


The work of great musicians can neither be measured by a yardstick nor with the number of awards are they bestowed with during their lifetime. It's the mass appeal of their work which makes them immortal even when they are no more.

A tribute to pay homage such four such legendary music composers was arranged last week by Hum TV in collaboration with Amateur Melodies at the DHA Club in Karachi. The programme started on time and continued late into the night.

Divided in two parts, each part covered two music composers. Starting with Khawaja Khursheed Anwar and Rasheed Attre, one found the host Bushra Ansari well-versed and well-informed on music, its genre and also the artiste in question. While on Khawja Khusheed, she gave a rare insight into his life and career “During his 43-year-long film career, he composed music for only 31 films. Melody and purity of raags have been the trademark of his compositions and his orchestration had always been rich where flute work always had a distinct part. The way Khawaja Anwar utitlised the flute (bansuri) no one has done so meticulously, and even amongst countless compositions one can easily identify which one is his.”

Zareen Haider opened the first round of performances with Chun Chun Naachoon Gi followed by Dil Ka Diya Jalaya and Mera Bichra Balam. Zubi Usman scored with Chali Re Chali Re. However, the finest compositions came from sisters Shazia and Shabana Kausar who performed Mehki Fizain, Sunn Wanjhli, Kali Kali Mundlay and Kabhi Tum Bhi Thay Aashna.

Paying tribute to Rasheed Attre, the host said that the musician had no match when it came to command over raags. Shehri Babu was the first Punjabi film which brought him recognition and made him a force to reckon with. Bushra opened the performances choosing Pyar Nalon Pyar Sajna. Zubi Usman with Teri Ulfat Mein Sanam and Saleem Baig with Dila Thair Ja and Husn Ko Chand Jawani Ko Kanwal did full justice to the compositions. Zareen Haider and Naeem Aziz presented the classical duet, Baar Baar Barsay, bringing the show to the end of the first-half.

After a short break the programme proceeded to the second part featuring Master Anayat Hussain and Nisar Bazmi. Adding to the information of the music enthusiasts, Bushra said that in past the musicians who used to play the harmonium and mouth organ were called 'master' and Master Anayat Hussain had good command over the latter.

Florence Thomas, with Payal Mein Geet Hain Cham Cham Ke and Ulfat Ki Naye Manzil opened the second round of performances. Naeem Aziz joined her for the duet Kiya Hai Jo Pyar.

Finally, it was time to pay tribute to Nisar Bazmi who is acknowledged as virtually the last authentic composer of Pakistan's music industry. Shabana Kausar stole the show with the popular Chalo Aacha Hua while Zareen Haider with Chand Phir Nikla was also reasonably good. Sagheer Ahmed with Youn Zindagi Ki Rah Mein, Zubi with Dil Dharke, Saleem Baig with Aik Sitam Aur Meri Jana and Naeem Aziz with Aise Bhi Hain Mehrban made lasting impressions.

It would be unjust not to mention the contribution of the artistes playing for the large orchestra and making the atmosphere more eclectic and sound more powerful. The presence of unusual musical instruments such as the dholak and sitar among the orchestra was quite an exhilarating experience. Producer Sultan Arshad while talking to Images on Sunday said, “Handling the intricate compositions of these legends in live performances was not an easy job for amateurs but they worked dedicatedly and accepted the challenge. Z.H. Faheem (harmonium), Manzoor (violin), Sajjad (guitar), Imdad Hussain (sitar), Mumtaz (tabla), Habib and Danish (keyboards), Shahid Alvi (dholak) and Mazhar (bass guitar) all contributed equally to the success of the show.”