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US Deputy CG John Warner observes Daniel Pearl World Music Day! (TEXT AND VIDEO)



KARACHI: Consul General of USA’s ceremonial residence at FJR here was the venue where the Deputy CG John Warner welcomed karachiites on the evening of 2nd October (2018). 

People from various locales of the Metropolis converged there to observe Daniel Pearl World Music Day to pay tribute to Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl and all those journalists who had sacrificed their lives in the line of their duty. 

Such musical performances have been held since 2002 all over the world. One may marvel why a melodious homage to a slain pressman? Danny was a talented writer who was adept enough with the written words to make a living in the top ranks of journalism. But it was in music that he found an essential form of expression. A talented violinist, fiddler and mandolin player Danny kept the passion for music ignited throughout his career. During numerous postings all over the world, he joined town bands, orchestras and chamber groups. Consequently, he left behind a long trail of musician friends in cities across the world stretching from Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Atlanta, Paris, Tehran to Mumbai. Daniel Pearl’s family chose music to celebrate the ideals of tolerance, friendship and shared humanity.  They formed a foundation to further the ideals that inspired Danny’s life and work, spotlight his love of music to build bridges and create a friendship. 

Remarks by Deputy Consul General John Warner:
• I’ve always felt that music and culture have the unique nature to bring people together. They reveal our common humanity, and they allow us to celebrate our aspirations to live together in peace and harmony.
• Music transcends all boundaries, allowing us to enjoy and appreciate different cultural forms. Daniel Pearl was a gifted musician; he truly believed that music had the power to build bridges between people and spread the message of ‘harmony for humanity.” This is for you Danny!
• This concert has become a wonderful tradition, and I couldn’t be happier that Pakistanis and Americans tonight are once again standing together for tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding.

KIMBALL GALLAGHER (American Pianist) has risen to prominence as one of the most dynamic and multifaceted pianists on the stage today. His sensitive insights at the keyboard, coupled with his singular entrepreneurial sensibilities, have enabled him to explore a broad scope of creative endeavors. Critics have described him as a “dynamo,” “sunlit and rapturous” and “a lightning bolt,” Gallagher’s sold-out 2008 debut at Carnegie Hall launched his international The 88- Concert Tour, a tour reviving the salon culture through a series of 300+ performances in a variety of non-traditional venues. Gallagher has blazed a trail across the 7 continents, appearing in 30 countries, and has performed in distinguished venues and intimate gatherings all over the world, from the Kennedy Center to Kabul, Bombay to Boulder, Chicago to Shanghai, and Tuscany to Tunisia. The 88 Concert Tour concluded with a culmination recital by Gallagher at Carnegie Hall in 2015, in New York City, leading to initiation of 88 International, an international organization initiating and executing unique musical projects across the globe.

ASIF SINAN is a Pakistani guitarist and singer. He is known for blending Indian classical music with jazz and playing guitar in the style of a sitar. Sinan is a graduate of the National Academy of Performing Arts. Asif Sinan is an alumnus of IVLP entitled “Bringing Social Change through Arts.” He and his band “Jazzical” will perform a medley of popular Pakistani music and American English songs. Relevant pieces published earlier: 


(VIDEO AND TEXT) CG Grace Shelton celebrates 15th Daniel Pearl World Music Day with Karachiites at Arts Council!


(Text and Video) US Consul General Grace Shelton dedicates Daniel Pearl Music Day Concert ‘Harmony for Humanity’ to the victims of Oct 24 Quetta Carnage



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Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar welcomed in Pk.



LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Information and Culture Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan today said the current visit of noted Indian poet Javed Akhtar along with his film star wife Shabana Azmi to Pakistan would open new doors of peace for Pak-India relationships.
In a meeting with Indian celebrity couple here on Friday, he said: “Pakistanis are the most peaceful and loving people and Pakistan, indeed, has fought on front-line in the war against terrorism”.
Chohan said that both neighboring countries should work together in the areas of art to promote harmony and peace in the region.
On this occasion, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar said that they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome which had been given to them by the people of Pakistan.
“We will never forget the love and respect which we get during the visit”, they added.


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Chalte Chalte remix controversy: Who should be criticized?



MUMBAI: It is not wrong to claim that Bollywood movies lack romance if Pakistani crooner Atif Aslam does not lend his sensational voice. His tracks Paanion Sa, Dekhte Dekhte and just released Tera Hua have become the chartbusters.

Whereas, on the other hand, the trend of remixing old songs is taking B-town into storms, which disturbs many veteran singers.

Lately, Aslam has sung a classic hit entitled Chalte Chalte for Mitron, upon which he is being panned by legendary Lata Mangeshkar, the singer of the original version, reported sources.

In this context, a source quoted Lata as saying, “I don’t want to hear it. This trend of remixing old songs saddens me. Where is the creativity in simply lifting acknowledged, beloved classics and shuffling the notes around?”

“I’ve even heard that the lyrics are changed in the remixes. By whose consent? The original poets and composers wrote what they had to. Nobody has the right to tamper with the creativity of these great composers and lyricists.”

Indian singer and politician Babul Supriyo, who has been criticizing Pakistani artists for quite some time, also went ahead to lament, “Today, even the poetic term ‘artistic liberty’ is at the verge of extinction. With due respect to Atif Aslam, as a singer myself, I will observe a two-minute silence to mourn rather than offer a comment.”

Whereas, singer Alka Yagnik whose song Dilbar Dilbar was remixed in Satyameva Jayate is of the view, “Why don’t they make a new song into a hit, instead of picking up an already super hit song, distorting it, and releasing it again. And then they say that it’s become so popular.”

“While it is okay that this is happening with my songs but it is unbelievable  that the younger crop of musicians has the audacity to remix Lata’s songs.”

1972 Bollywood classic Pakeezah featured Chalte Chalte, which was being picturized on the tragedy queen Meena Kumari. As a matter of fact, people love to hum this song to this day.

On the other hand, fans of Atif, while eulogizing the singer, keep on sharing their takes on the criticism.

“Lata is Lata and Atif is Atif, just because someone was great singer once, it shouldn’t mean no one should attempt to sing their song, I don’t understand why people just not enjoy the music without criticizing others.”

“O m g.. he is great.. but why Lata Mangeshkar Ji got angry or upset with him….. Don’t know… Both old and new versions are magical.”

It is pertinent to mention here that when it comes to take consent for using anyone’s songs, filmmakers are supposed to do so. Thus, in actuality, filmmakers, composers and lyricists are the ones who are supposed to be slammed for remixing a classic hit and not the singer.

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Italian Quartet Mesmerizes Karachiites at NAPA (Text and Video)



KARACHI: National Academy of Performing Arts’ Zia Mohyeddin Theatre was the venue where Italian Quartet led by songwriter/vocalist Francesca Incudine enthralled Karachiites with Sicilian music. 

Addressing the ladies and gentlemen in the audience  Consul General of Italy Anna Ruffino told that she had first heard Francesca singing in Madrid: “I listened to her till the end. Then I asked for her name and noted that in my mobile. When I was posted to Karachi I was thinking of inviting interesting people from home to perform here together with Pakistani artists. I talked to Francesca who immediately accepted. She is also a songwriter, so all the songs that you are going to listen to tonight are original. I am sure you will enjoy the music.”


Terming the experience of performing with musicians here as extraordinary, Francesca told that was her first visit to Pakistan.

Francesca, who had joined the NAPA choir to croon Pakistani patriotic song Hum Zinda Qaum Hain had rehearsed with students. Reckoning Sicilian and Pakistani music as similar she held: “Urdu is so difficult but I love the sound of words…Music is a universal language really.” 

Speaking about the traditional Sicilian instruments, members of the Quartet used, she told that Tamburello was mostly played by women in Sicily; Sheepskin bagpipes were somewhat similar to the ones used in Scotland. 

Appreciating the audience’s enthusiasm here she told that (as songwriter) her music was about life, power of love and feeling. She found Karachi a very warm and hospitable city. Comparing the Metropolis with Sicily, Francesca mused: “I come from Sicily! There is not only the Mafia but also beauty which is also present in Karachi”!


Interestingly Italian and Pakistani instrumentalists immaculately presented the famous Sindhi folkloric strain Rahi wanj raat Bhambore mein.









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