William Rees Hofmann / Qaiser Jimmy / Shah-e-Mardan
The inaugural event in a new program of concerts at Fuse, showcasing traditional South Asian music (qawwali, folk, classical and popular music) drawing on Bradford's vibrant Pakistani music community, alongside cherry picked artists from a broad range of schools - from traditional and experimental folk through electronic music, improv, jazz, drone, and rock. The exact propositions, process and products of this path-breaking venture are yet to be revealed. Each concert will feature unique first time public collaborations, which promise to spawn some genre defying musical moments, and hopefully lead to long lasting creative partnerships. First up, on Friday 19th December, are William Rees Hofmann, Qaiser Jimmy, and Shah-e-Mardan.
Rees Hofmann has been playing and studying the sarod for the past nine years under the tutelage of Satyam Rai. He spent six years living and studying in India with his teacher, as well as earning a Bachelors degree in Hindustani vocal. He is currently a Masters student in sarod and rabab performance at the School of Oriental and African studies in London, studying Afghan rubab with John Baily. As he more entertainingly relates on his Vibrational Temple blog: "Emerging from nearly a decade in self imposed exile of the ascetic lifestyle, enslaved to the grueling study of esoteric raga forms, half-naked and ash-covered, weirded and bearded, William Rees aka Gwilym Rhys aka Wahiduddin aka Lakshman took his knowledge and settled not in the smoking fires of the smashana but in the ashen city, the biggest smoke, the land of collapse and despair, Llundain. Set up in a palace of esoteric knowledge, trawling through the forgotten texts and tomes of unheard musicks, holed up in the Great Library of Antiquarian Works of Orientalism, he can sometimes now be seen in infrequent emergence of the night ritualistic ceremony in the darkest corners of the grey city". For this concert he will be performing with Manchester-based tabla player Qaiser Jimmy.
Shah-e-Mardan are a Bradford-based group largely spawned through their members' Haqqani Naqshbandi Sufi affiliations, they are quite unique in their exploration of Sufi devotional forms such as zikr, alongside the mystical poetry of Sufiana Kalam, and traditional qawwali. They have performed in Europe and across the UK, the youngest members of the group Salamet and Suleyman Husayn, having performed with such luminaries as Mohammed Sabri and contemporary groups such as Irshad Ali Qawwal Party (performing with them at this years Tusk festival in Newcastle) at the tender ages of 19 and 16 respectively. Salamet's interpretative vision on the clarinet is something to behold, capturing the lyrical subtleties of qawwali melodies whilst transmitting something of the urgency and invention of (dare I say it) early jazz players in its innovative charm. The group's main singer and musical authority, Mohammed Zubair, has years of experience, having learnt from (and performed with) musical giants like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Sabri brothers, and being a mainstay of Hameed Brothers Qawwal and Party. The group will be joined again by Qaiser Jimmy on tabla.
This concert will be be preceded by time spent playing music and getting to know each other, it will be the first time the musicians have met. The concert may take the form of separate sets, or feature different constellations of musicians, as the process is completely flexible. Fuse Art Space encourages people who are interested in getting involved to take part in the events, not least through attendance but also volunteering with promotion, and helping to run the concerts. Fuse is offering work experience opportunities in hospitality, production (sound engineering etc), and documentation of events. If you are interested in this please email email@example.com
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