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Farid Ayaz Qawwal and Brothers

Pakistan's Farid Ayaz Qawwal and Brothers are distinguished torchbearers for Qaawali, the extraordinary devotional music first brought to the hearts and minds of Western audiences by their countryman, the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Qawwali is the devotional music of Sufism, meaning Way of the Heart, and draws on many centuries of Islamic poetry in a journey into the passionate, ecstatic world of the Sufi mystics. Aided by their chorus of singers, with accompaniment from tabla, dholak and harmonium, the qaawal's principal singers Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammed draw their audience into a transcendental world of passionate love songs.

From the tranquil, meditative opening statement, the music slowly takes on a brilliant rhythmic intensity. Arms outstretched, each vocalist calls out with spiralling improvisations as he soars above the hypnotic chant and driving pulse of the chorus, until finally the song reaches its ecstatic coda.

In live performance, this sensuous music of the soul is an overwhelming experience, performed here by musicians with an ancestral lineage that reaches back through history to the Mughul emperors, and qaawali's earliest classical forms. Today, Farid Ayaz Qawwal and Brothers renew these old songs with an intensity that speaks to the heart, beyond language, race and creed.

Supported by The Embassy of Pakistan in Ireland

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