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Folk Music (Audio CD)

Price : U.S $ 27.95


The music of Dhadhi was traditionally meant to induce valor and instigate one to act. The tone is also one which conveys a strong belief, attempts to bring one face to face with truths and thereby tug at the soul. It is no wonder then that Sufi poetry could be sung to these typical Dhadhi rhythms with such gusto that was hitherto unknown in the Kalam and Qawwalli renditions of the Sufi genre. The Dhadhi musical tradition of India has evolved over the last four hundred years. It originated at thetime of the great Sikh guru- Guru Hargobind who used to invite exponent musicians to perform in hiscourt in order to inspire courage and valor within the growing Sikh community and both Muslimand Sikh Dhadhi musicians used to perform in the Guru’s courts. Traditional Dhadhi compositions are accentuated with abrupt yet extremely controlled breaks in melodic structurethat compounds with the accidental notes played on Sarangi.

‘Beyond’ presents the centuries old compositions based on tragic love stories of Punjab, India.Sharif Idu, a Sufi Dhadhi artist along with his accompanist Dhadh players and backing vocalistsare featured in this album. He is one of the rarest musicians of the Dhadhi tradition who incorporate Sufi philosophies and music in their performance. His open throated voice with anaccompaniment of a hundred year old Sarangi(normally detuned) infuses such depth of emotionthat sometimes the lyrics become less important in the performance. The philosophy of the Sufis and the beats of the Dhadh complement each other in expressing credence and heart-rending extremes of emotion, while the Sarangi ties the performance together.

a. Sassi Punno - Sufi Dhadhi 

The folk tale of Sassi-Punno is sung here to the beats of the Dhadh. The singer says that as Sassi died she left behind a will that she shouldn’t be buried where all sorts of people come and go rather her grave should be on the path that Punno passes by. Her trials and travails which she endures as she goes looking out for Punno in the hot sunny days and upon difficult terrains are spoken of. The poignancy of her tragic tale is compounded by the Dhadhi rhythms that induce seriousness alongside a sense of the highly tragic apart from the general feel of helplessness in front of the doings of destiny. 

b. Heer Di Kali:

A romantic story is usually sung for different episodes and goes on to acquire philosophical overtones related to the emotions in context.  This one speaks of the event of the girl being sent off to her husband’s house in a decorated palanquin.

c. Mirza - Sufi Dhadhi:

The folk tale of Mirza and Sahiba has been sung through many generations in all parts of Punjab. At times only a single detail is stretched into one composition, at others there are spiritual and philosophical notions that are brought out with the twists and turns of the story and at yet others only a reference is made to the tale while the rest of the rendition follows another thematic flow.

d. Dulla Bhatti - Sufi Dhadhi

Dhulla Bhati was a famous Rajput hero who rebelled against the legendary Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Onthe occasion of the marriage of Dhulla’s daughter, there was a performance by two Dhadhi musicians.The song that was performed at that celebration was later named ‘Dhulla’ in honor of the hero and is now played by many Dhadhi Jhathas.

e. Heer - Sufi Dhadhi 

The composition is an apt paradigm of venting of extreme emotions felt when existence pushes one to the point of no return. The music expounds the tragedy of the love story of Heer- Ranjha and at the same time manifests the passionate pursuit of spiritual upliftment. This is music to disturb and stir and understandably, after all the emphatic twists and turns of rhythms ends abruptly, thereby arousing concern.

f. Baba Bulleh Shah - Sufi Dhadhi 

This piece states the extreme anguish of a pupil/ lover/ artist whose teacher/ beloved/ muse has turned away and shows no signs of yielding to appeasement. The singer says: ‘Uth gaye ne hun bende nahi raba hun ki kariye’ – they have gotten up and now refuse to sit down, my God what should I do? My heart experiences a pang every other minute – which way shall this impasse lead to?’

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