The phrase ‘music has no boundaries’ may sound like an overused cliché but it is one of those rare hackneyed statements that will never lose its meaningfulness. The seven notes that musicians employ to exhibit their art and to woo music lovers fundamentally remain the same no matter which part of the world they’re played in. What Italian classical pianist Marco Giliberti and tenor Mariano Sanfilippo managed to do with sitar player Ustad Nafees Ahmed and his team through their distinct performances at a concert titled ‘Music Without Borders’ at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) on Tuesday evening endorsed the observation that even in its most experimentally ‘fused’ form music can be an experience like no other.
The show started off with Ustad Nafees Ahmed’s rendition of raga kalavati. He was accompanied on stage by Ustad Bashir Khan (tabla). Nafees Ahmed, a Napa’s faculty member, did not take long to get into the groove of the pentatonic scale, playing the softer notes with the kind of feeling that’s required for the raga, nicely supported by Bashir Khan who kept things unfussy and simple. Their synchronization in terms of ending set-pieces was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. (complete)
Zeb Bangesh, Mohsin Hamid, Rashid Rana & @NJLahori on the Irtiqa’s #Art & Societal Development. Wonderful discussion on sexuality, nationalism, identity and pluralism. #log #photos #Pakistan #Lahore #social #culture #history (at Ali Institute of Education, via umalik)
Globetrotting singer Shehzad Roy was recently in Rome on invitation from Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy, Tahmina Janjuwa. The Pakistan Embassy in Rome in collaboration with Zètema Progetto Cultura, an agency of Rome’s Municipality, had organised the concert last week in Villa Borghese, the second largest public park in Rome, and was part of La Notte dei Musei (The Night of Museums). The solo show presented Pakistan’s rich heritage — especially its music and poetry — to the Italian audience.
La Notte de Musei is an important event on Rome’s cultural calendar. On the night, a series of events such as concerts, plays and other cultural performances are organised at various locations throughout the city. It was indeed a privilege to have Shehzad Roy perform at one of the most prestigious spots in Rome. The audience included representatives of the Italian government, cultural and media leaders, the diplomatic corps as well as Pakistani and Italian community members. (complete)
Vernin U’Chong started jumping around at home at an early age – around when he was six or seven. It was only when he watched a documentary on parkour and free running later in life did he realize that what he was doing was an actual sport. After a little research he took his passion to a whole different level. He is the one of the pioneers of parkour and free running in Pakistan and has inspired many youth into the sport. Vernin is also a professional athlete and has taken part in many national and provincial games. In the recent Sindh games in 2012, Vernin took the gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay races.
Meanwhile his brother, Neil U’Chong, who also practices parkour, has also been break dancing in Pakistan for many years now and has been teaching it to children from his community for around half a decade. He now teaches at the Body Beat Recreational Centre and trains various people in break dance. Neil is also a graffiti artist, who practices the mantra that it’s not vandalism if someone wants it to be done on their property. He has been appointed to do graffiti for various television commercials and also promotes the activity if it is done legally.
For those who are new to this urban sport, parkour was developed in the 1990’s by David Belle in France. The sport is a training discipline that has been developed out of military obstacle training courses. The point is to move from point A to point B, overcoming all obstacles in between. It is a non-competitive sport and all one needs is a good pair of sneakers and the city is your playground.
Free running on the other hand is described by its creator Sébastien Foucan as “the art of expressing yourself in your environment without limitations: It is the art of movement and action”. Foucan explains that free running developed from parkour when he started making the sport more personal — by adapting it to each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Both the brothers have done various parkour, free running, break dancing, and graffiti commercials and projects and intend on promoting the sport as much as they can in the city and hopefully the country. - Text by Kurt Menezes