A few trips between France and Pakistan sealed their collaboration and gave another dimension to their fusion of qawwali and break.
A few trips between France and Pakistan sealed their collaboration and gave another dimension to their fusion of qawwali and break.

There was a large crowd, music, frenzy, high-pitched singing and an orchestra playing on a high note. This was a night of music featuring French and Pakistani singers at Peeru’s Café on Thursday night. The fusion concert featured qawwali and uplifting electronic music with a twist of French.

French trio of Markus playing the oud, Xavier Pourcher on keyboards and Régis Martel on the drums met Pakistani singer Shahzad Santoo Khan by chance on social media three years ago.

A few trips between France and Pakistan sealed their collaboration and gave another dimension to their fusion of qawwali and break.

Alliance Francaise Director Stephane Gaillard told Dawn that the French musicians and Santoo would also perform in Islamabad and Karachi. He was optimistic about more of such performing art collaborations between the two countries. “We shall have more collaborative cultural performances between the two countries,” he added.

Markus shared that Santoo would visit France in June and release an album of fusion music. “We will also do joint concerts during this period,” he added.

Gosha-i-Gayan, a newly introduced discussion corner at Alhamra Art Centre, holds talks every Thursday wherein people from different walks of life share their views on literary and cultural aspects.

The corner, established like a village gathering replete with pitchers, traditional stools and other items associated with rural life, was initiated by Lahore Arts Council (LAC) Executive Director retired Capt Atta Muhammad recently.

This week, film director Syed Noor was invited to the sitting, who took questions from the audience and narrated his journey of becoming a film director and the challenges the industry was facing. He regretted that such gatherings were held few and far between.

Mr Atta said that Gosha-i-Gayan was a constant source of solace to those who were interested in exploring the vistas of life through literary and cultural discussions.

Tauqeer Nasir, the new chairman of LAC Board of Governors, also attended the gathering and was optimistic about a positive role he could play as chairman of the council.

The English Literary Society and Progressive Writers’ Association marked World Book Day at Pak Tea House on April 24.

Ghaffar Shahzad, Mumtaz Rashid and Aftab Javaid were the special guests. Those who expressed their views in the event were Ashfaq Rasheed, Amjad Tufail, Zahid Hassan, Javaid Qasim, Nazar Bhindar, Comrade Tanveer, Javaib Aftab, Prof Anwarul Haq, Rubia Jilani, Raza Naeem, Tauqeer Taqi, Tauqeer Mahboob Zairi, Reza Jafri, Zahida Rao, Shuja Shaz, Maqsood Chughtai, Mian Salahuddin and others.

They said book reading improved memory, increased imagination and creativity. Book reading also developed the mind and language. Books stimulated mystic values and aesthetic pleasures. Realistic and modern writers were always inclined towards democratic thinking and freedom of expression, the speakers asserted.


Originally published in Dawn, April 29th, 2018

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