Picture of the Day: Trance

Posted on June 28, 2006
Filed Under Culture & Heritage, Music, Photo of the Day
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A sufi qawall offering his devotional music at Data Saab’s in Lahore.

I, too, am a fan of the so-called ‘Sufi Rock‘, but I sometimes wonder that instead of triggering a broader interest in Sufi music, it might have distracted attention from the ‘real thing’.

(Original uploaded on Flickr.com by peterhessel).

10 Comments on “Picture of the Day: Trance”

  1. Pakistani says:
    June 28th, 2006 3:57 pm

    This is a very powerful picture.
    I remember being taken to Data Darbar often as a kid. I went again recently, and the whole place has changed dramatically. I think it was the Nawaz Sharif government that did the renovations.

  2. MSK says:
    June 29th, 2006 12:45 am

    I do not agree that Sufi Rock distracted people from traditional Sufi music. It is not as if those interested in traditional Sufi music migrated to Sufi Rock. It is just that new people who would not have gone to the traditional music came over to Sufi Rock. That is a good thing.

  3. iFaqeer says:
    June 29th, 2006 3:38 pm

    Adil’s point hit home. But what MSK says has merit. I’d go on to say that “Sufi Rock” has become something that helps a whole generation of people something they can identify with and self-identify through.

    On the other hand, however, as one for who relates to Qawwali as something that I consider one of my deepest cultural and spiritual touchstones, it doesn’t dampen the feeling of wanting to pull my hair out when talking to someone from that latter generation/group.

    Haq Bahu, Bai-Shak Bahu!

  4. iFaqeer says:
    June 29th, 2006 3:39 pm

    PS: Pakistani, you need to shut yerself in a room and listen to a few hours of Aziz Mian.

  5. June 29th, 2006 4:40 pm

    iFaqeer; how can one argue with you on this subject, given your name ;-)

    But even though I agree with your general sentiment on this, I think you are harsh to Pakistani. I also grew up listening to the Sabri brothers and especially Aziz Mian (more for the pop-poetry)… this was well before Nusrat Fateh Ali and well before it was kool to listen to qawalli. In fact, my interest in qawalli was then considered odd both by my generation (which generally thought it was old fashioned) and my elders (who thought it was too unsophisticated)… remember, this is right at the beginning of the ‘cassette revolution’ in Pakistan and Sabris and Aziz Mian were just becoming ‘acceptable’…. but the point is this NIETHER of them was really the ‘traditional’ qawall one sees here… they were both ‘pop qawalls’ in their own rights and in their times… in how the practiced their craft, who their audience was and most importantly what they made the subject of qawalli (remember ‘panni ki qawalli’ or ‘paisa’ and so on….)

    In their time, they were more like Junoon then this guy. Making money. Brining in a new audience. Going to where the moneyed audience was (people’s individual events and concerts) rather than to devotional venues. This is not to say they were not good. They were great, I think. But they were more ‘pop’ than less. The qawall at the urs, at the dargah was and is a different breed. Sabris and Aziz Mian did that too, but what made them famous was that they came out of the dargah and into our cassette recorders; and that changed everything…… (the same way it did for Atta Ullah Essa Khelvi).

  6. June 29th, 2006 7:05 pm

    My dad would never listen to Nusraft fateh Ali. He still doesn’t. He remembered when he was young and on religious occasions he would accompany his uncles to the local qubristans(graveyards) and listen to Qawwali mehfils at the mazaars. These were not elaborate affairs, but they would spend the entire night out, listening to qawwali from somebody nobody had heard much about. I am sad that I never got to have the same experience…But still – whenever Qawwali comes on, I can find myself tuning right into it.

  7. Asma says:
    June 30th, 2006 5:37 am

    Well-captured moment!

  8. jugnoo says:
    August 27th, 2006 8:42 am

    Mast malang. Well

  9. AKHTAR SOOMRO says:
    November 29th, 2006 1:16 pm

    EXCELLENT…

  10. fadi says:
    April 8th, 2007 5:49 am

    it is a very big mistak i have never seen like these things in my whole life

    what is the (data saab ) ?????????

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