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A Short Escape from the Travails of Life in Pakistan

A Short Escape from the Travails of Life in Pakistan

Kasim Osmani Music Freedom Day is a globally celebrated event intended to pay homage to the singers and musicians who suffer censorship, bans, life-threats, financial constraints, stereotypical treatment, and other constraints for being a part of the music industry. The Music Freedom Day is also dedicated to those who spend their lives serving music, yet, cannot come to the spotlight. Life is made difficult for artists in most of the under-developed countries, such as Mali and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Music

Facing the music in Kashmir

By Ghazala Akbar   ‘If there is a Paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here’ extolled the Mughal Emperor Jehangir waxing lyrical on the earthly splendours of the Vale of Kashmir. There can be few more magical settings in South Asia than the 17th Century Mughal Shalimar Bagh blooming in late summer glory with a backdrop of the Zabarwan Hills. This was the extraordinary venue of a Western classical music concert organized by the German Ambassador to India and the internationally-renowned Bombay-born Parsi conductor, Zubin Mehta with the support of the Indian Government.  The strains of Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky wafting through the crisp mountain air would have certainly delighted the aesthetic sense of many a Mughal Emperor. But did it strike the right note for the people … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, human rights, India, Kashmir, Music

Mehdi Hasan’s Top 20

Raza Rumi Mehdi Hasan died today. There are no words to capture his influence on my generation and the ones before me. I am posting a shorter version of my essay which was published in a volume “Mehdi Hasan: The Man and His Music” (2010, Liberty Books). RIP Khan Saheb. The kesari balam has finally left for his new home.. ~ (Read more here) My friend Fifi Haroon (@FifiHaroon) tweeted the best of Mehdi Hasan. Saadia gardezi … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music

Strings of hope

Strings of hope

By: Dr. Zehra Saqlain I would like to congratulate the whole nation that we still have visionaries and writers who can take the burden of addressing the national/social issues with no fear. Yes, I am talking about the representative of the new generation, Bilal Maqsood. I always wondered who will take the responsibility and who would be able to write like Mr. Anwar Maqsood. Nevertheless, after listening to the new song of Strings “mein tou dekhoonga” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music

Aaloo-eating zionists – Pakistan’s youth reacts to daily doses of ghairat and lies

By Saadia Gardezi The latest music video to go viral in the Pakistani blogosphere, Aaloo Andey by Beyghairat Brigade, says most of what those on the centre and left are thinking. The Pakistani virtualverse has been twittering about the satire since it came out. However there has also been some verbal violence against the views expressed in the song, characteristic of the Pakistan we live in… what for one man thinks is xenophobic nationalism, for another is just … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conservation, Humor, liberal Pakistan, Music

Co-ven vol 3: A Review

Co-ven vol 3: A Review

by Zia Ahmad A bone of contention that rock musicians in Pakistan have from time to time is the dearth of work. The strife is more pronounced when one is adamant to steer clear of corporate endorsements and mindless, populist pandering, and sticking to its own independent point of view. Co-ven has no such qualms and manages to find plentiful of work in the face of growing bland plastic aesthetics and sensibility. Other than the preceding … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music, Reviews

Laal Band's song for the flood vitcims

Laal Band has produced this song for the victims of the recent calamity. Taimur Rehman the lead guitarist has sent this for the readers of PTH. RR [youtube=] … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Music, Pakistan

Chinese whispers of the press

Chinese whispers of the press

A couple of weeks ago a screening of  “Taqwacore- The Birth of Punk Islam” was held at the National College of Arts Lahore. The documentary film offers an insight into the Muslim punk movement called Taqwacore, inspired by a novel by American Muslim Michael Muhammad Knight of the same name. The film primarily follows Muslim punk band The Kominas, along with Michael Muhammad Knight, on a road trip through the US and, in the latter … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, journalism, Media, Music, Pakistan, Religion

Music vs. Militancy

Cross Post from Dawn Blogs By Salman Siddiqui on January 21, 2010 Even though Pakistan is bleeding from terrorism and suicide bombings, no mainstream , pop music artist has come close to condemning or questioning the spread of militancy through music and lyrics. A recent video from The New York Times highlighted this issue, showing how pop acts such as Ali Azmat and Noori were keeping quiet on the subjects of terror, religious extremism, and the Taliban, while railing against America through their songs. In this context, 25-year-old Daniyal Noorani‘s debut effort ‘Finding Heaven,’ which was released on YouTube a few days ago, is encouraging. The daring single takes the Taliban and religious extremists head on, creating quite a buzz online. speaks with Noorani to find out what prompted him to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Blogging, culture, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Media, Music, Pakistan, video

Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

From years of our travel We look back Upon these civilizations, From years of adventure We look back Upon these civilizations From days of our inheritance The lands and its cultures The old forms of languages The mystery of Universe The old journey taken By humans and nature together As they traverse From place one to another, In harmony and disarray As we born and die From on to another, As we love and hate The old circumstances And situation, intertwined Through languages and its art, The trails, lost and visible As we look back Upon these civilizations The … Read entire article »

Filed under: ancient civilisations, Architecture, Arts and Crafts, culture, Dance, drama, dynasties, Heritage, History, Identity, Languages, Law, Literature, movements, Music, musings, Nature, Philosophy, Physics, poetry, Politics, psychology

Pakistani Rock Comes of Age

By Zia Ahmad Summer 1995 The world was young, so was I. Still in my teens, my head ran on a brew of boundless enthusiasm and hope for tomorrow. The teenage optimism extended itself to Pakistani pop bands I was listening to back in the day: the MCC (Music Channel Charts) stable bands, Pepsi Top of the Pops confetti we were served week after week, Junoon and Vital Signs defining the musical landscape of Pakistan. Good times. Then again, there was only this much I could take of tuneful melodies and slick pop melodies. The thingness of things felt a tad incomplete. Lucky for me I had already discovered grunge that perfectly filled the void. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music, Pakistan

The ‘It-is-not-us’ syndrome

By Hajrah Mumtaz  Dawn Online A couple of months ago, I wrote a column in praise of certain Pakistani pop stars and bands, arguing that there are a fair number of songs that display political consciousness and a related sense of responsibility. I referred to such songs as Junoon’s ‘Talaash’, Shahzad Roy’s ‘Lagay Raho’ and ‘Kismet Apnay Haath Main’, Noori’s ‘Merey Log’ and Laal’s rendition of Habib Jalib’s ‘Main Nay Uss Say Yeh Kaha.’ … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Identity, Music, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, USA

Waziristan Musician Prays for Taliban Defeat

Waziristan Musician Prays for Taliban Defeat

From Dawn Online Friday, 23 Oct, 2009 DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Mohammad Akbar says he prays every day for the Pakistani army to crush the Taliban so he can make sweet music once more without fearing for his life. ‘They smashed it into pieces and warned me of serious consequences if I ever played it again,’ said Akbar as he recalled the day two years ago that the Islamists forced him to give a recital of his rubab … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, FATA, Music, Pakistan, Taliban

Rhythm of Soul

Source: RAO DILSHAD HUSSAIN and AREEBA IMTIAZ talk to Sain Zahoor Ahmed about Sufi music and his mission Sufi music has its root in different genres of music like qawali, kafi, sufiana qalams and many other regional genre of similar cultures. Sufi music started in the sub-continent by the great saint Hazrat Amir Khusru in the 13th century. Since then sufi music is being followed by composers and musicians of the subcontinent. Initially it was used for the sole purpose of spreading the Islamic norms and values. Sufi music also highlights the teachings of the sufi saints like Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid, Mohamad Bukhsh and Shah Hussain etc. Sufi singing is considered to be a symbol of love and affection. It gives the message of peace and harmony. Now sufi music … Read entire article »

Filed under: Music

Pakistaniat : The Crisis of Identity

Bradistan Calling   What can I give to Pakistan as a present on its 62nd Birthday, What else than an article on its chequered history and identity. Bertrand Russell famously said,” There are three great civilisations in East i.e. India, China and Islam”. Pakistan is blessed to be located at the crossroads of all these great civilisations. In my humble opinion this is the biggest strength of Pakistani identity. … Read entire article »

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