Creating harmony

Published: 24 November, 2011 08:06 IST | Priyanjali Ghose |

This Saturday three musicians Fazal Qureshi, Anders Hagberg from Sweden and Ahmad Al-Khatib from Palestine will collaborate to present world music

This Saturday three musicians Fazal Qureshi, Anders Hagberg from Sweden and Ahmad Al-Khatib from Palestine will collaborate to present world music

American musician Herb Alpert once said "Instrumental music can spread the international language." Tabla maestro Fazal Qureshi, the son of legendary late Ustad Alla Rakha, agrees.

Anders Hagberg

Armed with this belief, Qureshi will be jamming with Anders Hagberg from Sweden on the saxophone and flute and Ahmad Al-Khatib from Palestine on Oud, a string instrument mostly used to play Middle Eastern musicin the concert tilted Connecting 3 Worlds. "The concept is to bring in three cultures and present a harmonious sound," explains Qureshi.

But the concept was not born in a day. Back in 2009 Qureshi visited the University of Gutenberg and  met Hagberg and Al-Khatib.

And there three cultures, styles and people connected to form Connecting 3 Worlds, a concept that has travelled across the world.

Ahmad Al-Khatib

Also, Bangalore boy Giridhar Udupa will accompany the trio on ghatam.

"It will be an interesting blend of Indian music, western jazz, Middle Eastern makam, which is somewhat like our ragas," says Qureshi. He adds that Udupa's ghatam would also add a south Indian perspective to the sound. However, Qureshi refuses to term the sound of Connecting 3 Worlds as fusion since it sounds cliche.
Rather, Qureshi prefers to describe the performance as an ensemble of world music that will blend every genre from Swedish folk to jazz.

According to Qureshi, over the years such collaborations have become popular in India, thanks to exposure to various kinds of western music. "We performed in Mumbai and realised that the audience was open to whatever we were doing on stage.

Fazal Qureshi

The Indian audience has matured," he says. Qureshi feels that Indian classical music, both Hindustani and Carnatic in terms of rhythm, is broad. With 360 rhythm cycles and 108 beats, it can fuse with any other genre. Thus he advises budding percussionists to incorporate Indian rhythm even if a musician plays drums.

Qureshi explains that tabla as an instrument easily merges with any style of music and still retains its distinct characteristics. "The bayan or the left tabla especially gives you a chance to experiment with various notes," reveals Qureshi.

He acknowledges the impact of his lineage on his music but states that it is not mandatory to be born into a musical family to be a great musician.

Instead, he feels that one should be born with a flair for music. However, whether you are a musician or not, Qureshi hopes that Saturday evening turns out to be memorable for you as you witness a confluence of three different cultures and music.

5 things you did not know about Fazal Qureshi
cannot do without practicing for two hours everyday. has to start the day with Surya Namaskar.

can listen to drummer Billy Cobham and Ustad Alla Rakha anytime of the day

Come together by The Beatles and Black or White by Michael Jackson are two of his all time favourite songs

Would have loved to play with late sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

Would love to play at Guruvayur temple, Kerala

At bFlat, 100 feet, Indiranagar
On November 26, 8.30 pm onwards
Call 25278361

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