Friday, May 08, 2015

Coke Studio Pakistan - Do You Know Saeen Zahoor Or Noori?

Given what we hear in the news, one might wonder about an American's reception in Pakistan these days.  But you could turn that around.  Pakistanis might wonder about their reception in the US.  Here's something I haven't seen in the news.  And just listen to the music below. From Wikipedia:
Coke Studio is a Pakistani music television series which features live studio-recorded music performances by various artists. The show was produced by Rohail Hyatt up until Season 6 and is now produced by the Pakistani duo Strings. It is sponsored by Coca Cola. Starting in 2008, Coke Studio has been popular throughout the country, receiving critical acclaim and frequently being rebroadcast on numerous television and radio stations. It is one of the most popular music programmes in South Asia and is a local brand product of Coca-Cola.
The program focuses on a fusion of the diverse musical influences in Pakistan, including eastern classical, folk, qawwali, bhangra, Sufi and contemporary hip hop, rock and pop music. The show provides a platform for renowned as well as upcoming and less mainstream artists, of various genres, regions and languages, to collaborate musically in live studio recording sessions.

For those of you who don’t about Noori, its a Rock band from Pakistan, started by two brothers – Ali Noor and Ali Hamza. The band are known for being one of the pioneers of the Pakistani rock music scene.
Listen to this great music from Noori & Saeen Zahoor.

Saeen Zahoor was a 2006 World Music award winner as reported by the BBC:  (The link has a lot more about Pakistani music.  What we have here is fusion of old and new.)
"Zahoor was born and raised in a rural peasant family and for decades he performed exclusively at dargahs and melas in his native Ojara district of Pakistan. In 1989 he was invited to the All Pakistan Music Conference to give his first ever performance on a concert stage and, by all accounts, he transported the 2000 audience members present to heights of emotion which were deemed almost dangerously intense. He now tours the world, often accompanied by harmonium and dholak drum side-players, wreaking the same blissful havoc on devotees and newcomers alike. His piercing chiselled features are a regular sight on Pakistani TV and he has been the subject of at least one documentary."

More from Wikipedia:
Noori (Urdu:نوری, literal English translation: “light”) is a rock band from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, formed in 1996. The group was formed by songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist, Ali Noor, along with his younger brother Ali Hamza, who were soon joined by bassist Muhammad Ali Jafri and drummer Salman Albert as well as by DJ Junaid Shams (known for JoNi). Since the inception of the band, there had been many changes in the line-up the only consistent members being, brothers, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza. The band are considered as one of the pioneering forces behind what is dubbed at the "21st Century pop revolution of Pakistan".
Viral Khabar adds;
"Noori is a Persian word which means “light” and the concept behind the band was the light which shows you things with a different perspective."
Which is something I try to do here on this blog.

Technology of the Heart offers a translation of the music in the video, which begins:

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na

(You read to become
all knowledgeable
But you never read yourself)
You can actually hear the words clearly after the ooooooooooooooooo in the beginning. 

And here are a bunch of videos from these Coke Studio concerts.

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