East-West Past-Future Materialist-Spiritualist Fusion

I know I should be coming up with a Thanskgiving message – how about “Thanks for sticking around!”? – or watching football, or cleaning up the house while preparing to head out for the family shindig.  Instead, I found myself putting this post together.

Here are five very modern, in other ways old songs – “Eastern” artists with instruments, arrangements, production all in some way reliant on “Western/American” technology and aesthetics, brought to us on the internet… but I’ll leave further discussion of the larger themes to some other time…

[myyoutubeplaylist F1ZeVicy5PE, 4QyQAG7mvpM, dpkiK0J_IZU, FxBxeChwJEM, RLl_dbuxwVE]

Some info on the artists:

  • Rez Abbasi & Kiran Ahluwalia – The first piece, “Things to Come,” is new to me, but I like it a lot – as an “art” video, and as a vehicle for the Pakistani-American guitarist-composer Rez Abbasi (from his album under the same title).  Kiran Ahluwalia provides the ethereal vocals.  Abbasi also plays guitar on “Teray Darsan,” Ahluwalia’s setting of the lyrics of a typical Ghazal:  The beloved as simultaneously a human lover and the divine.  I believe Ahluwalia still carries a Canadian passport, but, in
    re-connecting with her “other” heritage, she dedicated herself to
    interpreting traditional music for the present era. 
  • Raghu Dixit – from India… I know a lot less about him, except that he may be something of a sensation or on the verge of becoming one.  His band fuses traditional Indian folk stylings with rock’n’roll.  The first song is one of the folkier selections available on YouTube.  The second song – “No Man Will Ever Love You Like I Do” is not a re-settting of “You’ll Never Find…”
  • Arif Lohar & Meesha Shafi: Pakistani, with a setting of the Sufi folk song Alif Allah Chambey Di Bootey.  The prominently featured Coke Studio sponsorship to me completes rather than detracts from the sense of “fusion” between East and West, empyreal and mundane, spiritual and political.  The song came to our attention a few months ago when it was mentioned by a Pakistani writer who was decrying fundamentalist violence against peaceable Sufis.

(Also wanted to show fuster and y’all another way to present a set of ‘tubes.)


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5 comments on “East-West Past-Future Materialist-Spiritualist Fusion

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  1. I was near as impressed with the presentation as I was with the performances.

    No 3 was most interesting. Sounding almost Celtic.

    Loved the last even more than when I last heard it.

    Thankee much for all.

  2. Interesting observation about the Celticness of the sound on that song… I like the way his voice sounds like a pop crooner than zooms off into those very Eastern legato lines

    Couldn’t be more simple to do the presentation:

    Just put the following in any post:

    [myyoutubeplaylist codenumber, codenumber, codenumber, codenumber]

    where codenumber is the sequence of letters and numbers that appear italicized in the following URL.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxBxeChwJEM&feature=player_embedded

    in other words, the gobbledygook between the “=” and the “&” on any Youtube URL

    You can use any number of songs.

    The application will do the rest in terms of formatting the main image and the menu thumbnails. There are more bells&whistley apps that allow for more complicated layouts and interactions and decorations, but I thought this one was a good starting point.

  3. Hi There,
    Thanks for putting these up. Just a correction – Things To Come, the “art video” is a composition by myself and on my recording with the same title. The second video is Kiran’s and it is also an original composition, of hers. She mostly composes her own music to modern and older Ghazals. Best Wishes,
    Rez

  4. @ Rez Abbasi:
    You’re quite welcome, doubly. Didn’t mean to imply anything other than that the song – which I found at Ms. Ahluwalia’s site – is yours, but I’ve added some notes for clarity.

    Great video, by the way – the simple, cinematic concept that in combination with the music creates, evokes, and sustains a subjective “moment” instead of seeing how many cuts, how much unrelated narrative, how many tricks, or how many shots of the artist and fans it can fit into a couple of minutes.

  5. CK MacLeod wrote:

    Great video, by the way – the simple, cinematic concept that in combination with the music creates, evokes, and sustain a subjective “moment” instead of seeing how many cuts, how much unrelated narrative, how many tricks, or how many shots of the artist and fans it can fit into a couple of minutes.

    Right on.

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