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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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