“Backed by tanpura, harmonium and tablas, Saami sings with multiple accompanying voices, rising in front of them with electrifying force and terrifying beauty. Precious, melancholy valedictions for a 1000 years of sound.” —The Wire
Following his critically acclaimed debut, God Is Not a Terrorist (2019), 49-note scale microtonal vocal master Ustad Saami returns with an epic part two. Pakistan Is for the Peaceful presents an even more immersive work, comprised of just three extended tracks and again produced 100% live at the master’s rooftop home in Karachi by Grammy-winner Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Zomba Prison Project, The Good Ones), with musical accompaniment provided by Ustad’s four sons.
Ustad Saami is the last living surti master, a precursor of the ancient Islamic devotional music of qawwali.
As The Quietus noted: “when Ustad Saami dies, these forty-nine notes die with him.”
The seventh release from Glitterbeat’s acclaimed Hidden Musics series.
At age seventy-six, Ustad still practices from 4 AM to noon most days, drilling himself with exercises. Though his physical hearing has declined and he requires in-ear aids for daily communication, his powers of perception continue to rise.
As a child, he was the chosen one from his family and his master forbade him to speak for years. During this period, he was only allowed to express himself vocally, not verbally. He studied for thirty-five years to perfect this system before he ever even stepped onstage. It was the same trajectory as puff pop-stars, only inverted — they start performing prematurely and get even more flaccid over time.
Instead, Ustad explores the subtlety of human emotion through microtones, an....... więcej