Music divine

In the air: Sufi music   | Photo Credit: 28bgmEgyptian musicians

For the spiritually thirsty and the searchers of bliss, this weekend promises music divine. Music lovers can have a lyrical tryst with some soul-stirring Sufi music as an exotic line-up of performers from remote villages to internationally acclaimed artists bring some celestially mystical music to the city.

Presented by Banyan Tree Events as part of their nationwide Sufi and mystic music festival titled ‘Ruhaniyat', Bangalore's music connoisseurs can witness this confluence of soulful music come alive this Sunday at Jayamahal Palace Hotel at 6.30 p.m.

Probably the only festival of its kind, the event has five diverse groups offering some of the rarest forms of Sufi and mystic music from across the world. This year's highlight is an instrumental and vocal ensemble from Egypt specialised in classical Arabic music who will perform the traditional music of the Sufi mystics — the Arabic Sufiana Mausiqui.

Nandini Mahesh, director of Ruhaniyat, claims the event is a platform for traditional indigenous music groups to express their talent. “The people playing these forms of music are the carriers of tradition. There are no stars among them; they are real people. Their art is passed on by word of mouth through generations and we bring the magic of the saints and mystics alive through Ruhaniyat.”

The festival, being held for the ninth year across the country and the fourth year in India, also has Baul songs sung by Parvathy Baul from West Bengal, Kabirpanthi Nirguni songs by Prahlad Tipaniya and group from Madhya Pradesh, Sufi Kalam by Sawan Khan and group from Rajasthan, and Sufi Qawwali by Haji Timmu Gulfam and group from Jaipur.

Hailing from the hills of Al Humaymat in Egypt, the Sufi group is an amalgam of exceptionally talented artistes. The group has Naglaa and Mona Fathy, identical twins with rapturous voices. Farghaly plucks the pear-shaped fretless lute called oud while his son, Mohammad, accompanies him on the trapezoidal stringed qanún and his brother, Zaky beats the tambourine-type req.

Playing for over 15 years, the group believes that their music embodies the inner, mystical dimension of their religious identity. Farghaly says, “The Sufi music talks deeply about our culture and religion.

“Its purity and divinity are spiritually edifying and is the doorway to reaching god.”

Having toured several European and Arabic countries, and showcasing their Arabic legacy for the third time in India, the group has seen numerous Sufi groups but claim none compare to the Sufi music in India. “India is truly the land of the Sufi. Each time we come here, the experience is exhilarating and the music all the more uplifting,” he adds excitedly.

“Everything about Indian culture and music is appealing. Every time we return home from a visit, we carry back a wealth of knowledge. The love of the people is overwhelming; I am at a loss for words,” emphasises Farghaly. The troupe is set to play alongside desert musicians from Rajasthan and hopes to give a never-heard-before performance. “We anticipate that an experience like this will give us an opportunity to showcase Indian music on Arabic instruments.” On what has kept them together so long, he stresses that they come from a family of close knit friends with classical Arabic music backgrounds. “None of us train in this art form to make profit. It is the love for music that has binds us together.”

“Egyptian and Indian music have many parallels. We are different branches of the same tree. While the structure is the same, we differ only in the way we compose and the instruments. Our two nations are so similar in many ways, especially in the love of music,” he affirms.

“Our music is for the soul and spirit. We bring the message of peace, love and brotherhood to all through this celebration of life and music,” Farghaly adds.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 1:28:15 PM |

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