ISLAMABAD: A reference to remember Amjad Sabri was held on Thursday amid qawwalis and performances reminding the crowd of the maestro’s contribution to Sufi music.
Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr. Fouzia Saeed said that hosting this reference was important not just to remember Sabri but also to recognise that he was a symbol of creative expression, music and a progressive space that is growing with the passage of time.
“We are gathered here to pass a statement that we are going to support the progressive and space that he initiated. The message of today’s reference is that we will not let anyone invade or try to finish his creative space,” she said.
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Saeed further said that it was unfortunate that Sabri was murdered at such a young age.
“I do not use the word martyr because I do not want to glorify the cruelty with which he was killed. It was not just his murder but the death of a unique kind of creativity that Sabri possessed,” she added.
Lok Virsa Board Member Farooq Qaiser said that he was proud that Lok Virsa was a cultural space where creative expression breeds.
“We’ve gathered here to not only remember Sabri but also celebrate his life and his music with the new generation to make him proud,” he said.
Lead Vocalist Laal Band Taimur Rehman said that in normal situations it might not be okay to play music on someone’s death but for a legendary artist such as Sabri, playing his music was the right tribute.
“He gave up his life for music and music is the best way to remember him. The past has seen many kinds of martyrs who gave up their lives due to their ideologies but it is unfortunate that Pakistan gets to see musicians giving up their lives because of their talent,” he said.
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Laal band performed a fusion of modern-day music and qawwalis along with Sufi music.
Taimur’s vocals blending with drum beats and guitar sounds spread a vibe of energy and enthusiasm amid the crowd an hour before iftar when they performed different tracks including Dum Mast Qaladar, Maine Ussay Yeh Kaha, Tum Apni Karni Kar Guzro, Bhar Do Jholi and a few other songs that left the audience in a state of trance.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2016.