Nexus Cabaret, Sun Feb 28
There are many forms of Sufi music, but all forms are spiritual or devotional in origin and purpose. The music featured in this concert stems from Pakistan and Northern India, and is essentially built around the relationship between vocals and harmonium (sung and played by Sunny Thind) and tabla based percussion. There were a couple of extra guest musicians on electric guitar and a hammered dulcimer or zither to add subtle textures.
No concert of Sufi music from the sub-continent could go without mentioning the giant of the genre, and the foremost exponent of the Qawwali tradition, the now (sadly) deceased Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He was loved by WOMADelaide audiences, and this concert began with his incredibly infectious Allah Hoo Allah Hoo. They did a fine job of it though I missed the multiple voices usually present in Qawwali songs.
The melodies of Sufi music are an acquired taste to the Western ear, but I really enjoyed the warm vocals of Sunny Thind. It’s a shame that his singing wasn’t louder in the mix. Watching the energetic Jay Dabgar on tabla was a treat – he provided a visual and musical centrepoint as he showcased the beauty and depth of this superb instrument.
A pleasant way to spend an hour and warm up for WOMADelaide; I didn’t quite make into a trance state, but I did forget the secular world outside for a while.
Mystic Music – Sufi Soul performs http://theclothesline.com.au/mystic-music-fringe-review/
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