The Song of the Surmandal

Niaz Khan is certainly a well-travelled, multi-talented and multi-lingual individual. He has been to many countries around the world, from Russia to India, can sing in many languages, play the surmandal and makes a variety of instruments, from the druza to the harmonium. A man of many talents, as we said before, and certainly oneContinue reading “The Song of the Surmandal”

Bombay In Lahore

As we entered Bombay Music Store, we could not help notice the inescapable sense of bitterness and decline which was bound to the very soul of the shop and its aging proprietor, Muhammad Asif.  Despite our countless interactions with Lahore’s aging classical musicians who are subject to poverty, mistreatment, and social ostracization, there was somethingContinue reading “Bombay In Lahore”

The One Behind the Film Score

Scrolling through a list of popular patriotic songs, it is disappointing to see how few song-writers and composers are credited. Only the singer’s name is seen, everyone else is deemed unimportant. One of these unsung heroes is Saleem Haider, a music director who helped orchestrate the hit songs ‘Ae Watan Pyare Watan’ and ‘Ae JazbaContinue reading “The One Behind the Film Score”

The Forgotten Flute

Hassan Ali is a middle-aged musician who plays the harmonium and the bansuri (flute). His grandfather, the sarangi virtuoso Ustad Nathu Khan, taught the famed singer Farida Khanum. Though his main instrument of choice is the harmonium, Mr.Ali learnt the flute later on and enjoys its intrinsic beauty. He started playing music when he was around thirteenContinue reading “The Forgotten Flute”