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The lively world of music

The art of music enriches soul and spirit of listeners. Traditionally, music can be found everywhere, it needs no boundaries. Music brings peace to innumerable people around the world it helps to develop creativity and gives new avenue of expression. A remarkable rise in the popularity of Music Festivals is spreading around the world. Music festivals and events help to create a sense of community and build connection between people belong to different creeds and cultures. This trend clearly shows the globalization of music culture, with trends and tastes no longer being restricted by language and borders.

Recently, a mega musical event “The Second Music Mela Conference” has brought new life to the music of Pakistan. The event took place at Pakistan National Council of Arts, Islamabad from 17 to 19 April 2015. The three day event was a joint venture, organized by the Foundation for Arts Culture and Education (FACE), The United States Embassy and Pakistan Television. Music enthusiasts and promoters from international community gathered to witness superb music episodes, live performances, in depth discussions, lectures, presentations, panel discussions, and master workshops from top music personals. The organizers had the objectives to provide a boost to live music and to connect Pakistani musicians with the international music industry. “The idea is to encourage live music, provide platform to talented musicians, and make the show bigger next year and the years to follow.”

Highlights of the festival: The highlights of the festival included the live performances of national and international musicians, composers, and singers from all genres in front of thousands of music lovers. The large multimedia screens, elegant high stage, green lawns of National Arts Gallery, twitter updates from the organizers and the food stalls offering barbecue, beverages and snacks added the beauty of the event.

The live concerts and solo performances of contemporary, folk, rock, fusion and Sufi artists from Pakistan and international artists, and music promoters are essence of Music festival 2015.

The US Ambassador, Richard Olson launched the second annual Music Mela. In his inaugural speech, the ambassador said, “Music has a special power to overcome barriers – regardless of language, geography, or culture. This event builds on the tremendous success of last year’s Music Mela and a year of cultural events arranged by the US Embassy and its partners in Pakistan and the United States”.

The US Bassist Marcus Miller also addressed the crowd via video message as part of International Jazz Month. He spoke of Jazz as an American art form and its spirit of invention and improvisation that has found a home in countries around the world, including Pakistan.

The music mela presented the artists including Niaz Khan (Pashto Bibi Shirini), Fazal Jutt (Punjabi folk Dastaan), Shamoon Ismail (Jutt Blues), Krishan Laal Bheel (Saraiki folk), Shafqat Salamat Ali Khan (Classical), Sachu Khan (Baluchi folk) and super star Hadiqa Kiani (Pop rock).

The lively audian fascinated with the live performance of Punjabi folk Dastaan singer Fazal Jutt, when he sung ‘Heer Ranjha’ and ‘Balay Balay’. The high beat of of dhol gave an incentive to audian to dance with the beat of dhol. Other artists at the show were Naujawaan All Stars (Fusion), Shaan Khan (Pashto fusion), Shehriyar Mirza (Funk rock), Pappu Saeen (Qalandar bass), Red Blood Cat , Jimmy Khan (Pop/rock), Dance (Folk/regional by HATS group), Asraar (Fusion) and Coven (Rock).

The festival witnessed the height of fanfare and enthusiasm from appreciative crowd and musicians as well. Envoys (ambassador rock), Mai Nimani (Sindhi folk), Mary Mcbride (Country rock), Faiz Ali (Qawwali), Dance (Classical Khattak by Umair Arif), Sanam Marvi (Sufi folk) and Grace McLean (American contemporary) showed their talents.

Music Mela 2015 created fusion tunes with local musicians such as American country rock band singer Mary McBride sung a translation of a song in Sindhi, and Polish artist Maria Pomianovska performed with Sachu Khan, a Saroz master from Balochistan. Maria Pomianovoska introduced the idea of ‘reconstructing instruments’.

The programme also included master classes and presentations from successful music initiatives such as, the Drum and Percussion workshop by Sikandar Mufti, presentation on developing a music curriculum by Arshad Mahmud, successful music projects showcased by Xulfi of Nescafe Basement, the National Academy of Performing Arts and musician union conference by Ali Azmat, the Guitar workshop by Hamza Jafri and song writing workshop by Mary Mcbride.

Mary McBride Band and Grace McLean shared their experiences about their musical journey. The workshops also emphasized the need of artist royalties. The event was witnessed by the Ambassador of Bosnia; Peter Heyward, High Commissioner of Australia; Jesper Moller Sorenson, the Ambassador of Denmark and Hiroshi Inomata, the Ambassador of Japan’s common love for rock ‘n roll. Music Mela was a successful attempt to create a memorable and exciting atmosphere through music and at the same time highlighted the wide and diverse range of Pakistani music. -Photos courtesy: US Consulate General Karachi.


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