I know nearly nothing about guitars and absolutely nothing about the technicalities of how to judge one guitarist from another. But I think this video of Faraz Anwar on his guitar is worth posting because: (a) I do find the music here intriguingly enchanting, and (b) because the news behind it is also interesting.
So the first thing I did was to listen to the performance. I do not know what the technical parameters here are, but I must say I found myself tapping my feet to the beat.
I tried to find out more about Faraz Anwar and discovered that he is already quite a phenomenon amongst those who follow these things in Pakistan. His bio blurb for the competition reads:
I am a Pakistani Progressive metal guitarist known for my solo instrumental work and my bands Dusk and Mizraab. I was born on 15 July 1977 in Karachi. In 6th grade i decided to pick-up a guitar after seeing a video of guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen on TV.
1. Scholarship from Berklee in 1996.
2. Berklee Outstanding Musical Achievement Award â€™96.
3. First Guitar Player and Second Pakistani Musician to release an album Internationally.
4. â€œKing of Guitars in Pakistanâ€ quoted by Allan Holdsworth.
5. Only musician who has played for more than 50 different artists in Pakistan.
I looked up information on the Guitar Idol 2009 competition, and here is what I found on their own website:
Guitar Idol is an online talent search to find the hottest â€˜undiscoveredâ€™ guitarists in the world. Staged over 3 online Heats and a final online knockout round thousands of guitarists will battle for 12 places to perform live on the main stage at the massive London International Music Show in June 2009 and be crowned Worldwide Guitar Idol 2009.
The Guitar Idol 2008 competition was an incredible success with over 400,000 visitors to the Guitar Idol sites who watched, listened to and voted for hundreds of guitarists from every corner of the globe. 12 lucky finalists â€“ from Brazil, Canada, Italy, Scotland, Russia and the UK â€“ performed with a crack live band at a stunning live final on June 14th 2008 in front of thousands of fans at the London International Music Show.
In addition to some fantastic prizes, the live final will be released worldwide on DVD, and a Guitar Idol 2009 album will be released. The winner will also open up for a genuine Guitar Legend and meet some of the Guitar industries most important contacts â€“ this will be an experience you will never forget!
From what I can make of the rules, the fact that Faraz Anwar is in the Final Heat is important but maybe less than it sounds. There are a total of 120 guitarists still in this final heat. The public is voting on them at the competition website as are actual judges. Of these 120, 12 will go to the live final in London. Four of these will be the highest vote-getters and 8 will be based on judges selection. Faraz Has made it this far and the voting is now open till May 5, 2009, 9pm (GMT). This voting will help decide (along with the judges) whether he goes to the final 12 or not.
If you want to vote for him, you can vote for Faraz Anwar here.
As I said, I know very little about guitars or guitarists. But I have now heard his entry multiple times. And my feet are still tapping to the rhythm!
P.S. Back in June 2007 we were fascinated by the rise of Kashif Memon and his dance moves in America’s Got Talent; I wonder what he is doing now. Then in October 2007 we were mesmerized by the talent of Amanat Ali from Faisalabad on the Indian ZeeTV hit show SaReGaMa Challenege 2007. He is, not surprisingly, continuing to make great waves. We will also keen an eye on how Faraz Anwar fares.