Abida Parveen, a Sufi singer from Pakistan, has a big, powerful voice. Because of this voice, and the passion with which she sings, and also because of her remarkable (big, powerful) physical presence, she has become instantly recognisable in India and Pakistan. Sometimes I find her overwhelming, as I did another singer in the same tradition, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. But recently a friend gave us a CD of Abida Parveen singing songs of Hazrat Shah Hussain, which are more melodious than some of the work in this genre. I quickly became hooked to one of them, Raanjhan. I've been listening to it every day, and every day it has the same mesmerizing effect on me.

I've uploaded it as an MP3 here. I'll keep it up for a week or so. It's a big file -- 10.9 MB -- so if you don't have a fast connection you can listen to a streaming version of it at musicindiaonline.com. If you like it, you can hear the rest of the CD at the same site here. Do listen to it, and tell me how you reacted to it.

I found an article in the Pakistani newspaper Jang about the annual festival at Shah Hussain's tomb in Lahore. It's vividly written, and includes information about Shah Hussain (1538-1599), who must have been quite a character.


tejbir said...

that was great!
many thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

Mesmeric indeed, but with that little bell note to sting you.

I have quite a collection of Nusrat now (though G pays me not to play him endlessly when he's in the car). For me, Abida is another avenue to pursue. Thank-you.