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Tasmin Little Music Centre

The Sense of Adventure Tape Deck Orchestra at Folk Narratives 08/12/12

Irshad Ali Qawwali Party / Sagheer Ali Khan

Friday 10th October 2014
M@BU presents...
Irshad Ali Qawwali Party / Sagheer Ali Khan
Delius Arts and Cultural Centre, Bradford

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Doors 7.30pm
£6 entry / £4 Bradford Uni Music Society members

Hailing from Rajasthan, India, Irshad Ali Qawwali Party are four young exponents of a devotional music reaching back to at least the 13th century, when migrations of people from Persia to the subcontinent led to the melding and creation of new musical forms. Originally performed in Sufi shrines (or dargahs) the music has continued to evolve up to the present day, carried through the centuries both by religious devotion and the simple need to be heard - exemplified by the gloriously impassioned group choruses typical of Qawwali, based on the mystical poetry (Sufiana Kalam) upon which the songs are built. Carrying the torch of forebears such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Sabri Brothers, and Aziz Mian, this unmissable opportunity to see a vibrant contemporary ensemble has been made possible through the group's appearance at the Tusk music festival in Newcastle, and is one of only a pinch of dates in the UK. The youthful energy that Irshad and his brothers inject into their performances suggests that the lifespan of this music is is guaranteed for years to come. Their tools (voice, tablas, harmonium) are prone to reach magnificent heights of emotive power, for which overused words such as transcendental, the sublime, and mystical ecstasy, only give an inkling of the joyous musical delights in store.

Based in Bradford, though hailing from Jhelum in Pakistan, Sagheer Ali Khan is both a master dhol (double-sided drum) player - from an extended family of hereditary musicians steeped in what is essentially a ceremonial musical tradition - and a maverick instrumentalist, specialising in shenhai (a clarinet-like free reed instrument), harmonium, and singing. Joined by his son Safeer Shazad and his brother Janghir Khan the group promise to hypnotise audiences with their earth shattering displays of poly-rhythmic virtuosity. The musicians' internalization of these rhythms has led to what is, to all intents and purposes, a classicising of the folk tradition - employing extended techniques more often heard on instruments like tabla. Their performance will be augmented by songs from both Sufi and folk/popular musical traditions of Pakistan, centred around Sagheer's gently undulating yet expansive voice and instrumental verve, and promises to captivate audiences from start to finish.

Supported by University of Bradford and Artworks Creative Communities.