Heritage Live, a one-of-a-kind music residency has brought forward many hidden gems from the heritage of Pakistan, that are endangered, yet hard to compare with the contemporary musical instruments.
Heritage Live is a first-time residency program in Pakistan initiated by the FACE – Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education, and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. The program was aimed to empower indigenous musicians through training and workshops based on the Maestro-Apprentice relationship exclusively focusing on their audio-visual productions and social media marketing campaigns which would graduate them out of poverty, and preserve and promote Pakistani culture through music.
The eighteen days residency began on August 15th and ended on September 2nd, 2020 at Lok Virsa, Islamabad. Twenty musicians from all across the country were selected based on their music instrument endangerment and financial status.
The residency included social media and music business training, tutorials, interviews, music videos, musical collaborations, city tours, and gigs.
These were lifetime experiences for the musicians. Hence after the residency, they seemed hopeful for the future of indigenous music in Pakistan.
Empowering these artists through honing their own musical skills and preserving the cultural heritage of Pakistan was yet another target that was well achieved. The immensely talented artists were brought in to the limelight and hence two major collaborations with modern contemporary artists were also produced.
The maestros selected along with their apprentices are as follows:
- Wahid Bakhsh with Khalid Khan
- Sattar Jogi with Sajan Jogi
- Ejaz Sarhadi with Azhar Sarhadi
- Zulfiqar Faqir with Sajid Bakhsh
- Gulbaz Marim with Yasir Ud Din
- Ajmal Laal Bheel with Tikam Das Ram
- Rozi Khan with Ismat Ullah
- Ataullah Chambal with Sultan Nazir
- Bujla Bugti with Haider Ali Bugti
- Gulshan Jahan with Mohammad Shakeel
The Maestros from Heritage Live are determined to revive these musical assets by transferring the talent to their students.
The CEO of FACE, Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education, Mr. Zeejah Fazli said,
Our immensely beautiful heritage and music of Pakistan had become endangered because our indigenous musicians had no training and exposure to technology and various digital platforms prevalent nowadays. FACE through its project “Heritage Live” will bring a new wave in the country that shall not only improve the livelihood of these musicians but also preserve and promote our cultural heritage.
Having PPAF as our prime supporter and strategic partnership with Lok Virsa and Rinstra I am looking at a more thriving music industry that is the real image of Pakistan.
We hope that such initiatives towards the empowerment of indigenous musicians are noticed and supported by the relevant communities and stakeholders in order to let the art and culture flourish and be widely welcomed in our society.
The Shadow of Shenai, the program’s first music video, revolves around two of the most popular instruments of Southern Punjab, out of which, one instrument known as Naqqarah is endangered. Naqqarah and Shehnai Maestro, Ataullah Chambal is determined to revive these energizing instruments by transferring the talent to his students. He has a number of talented students learning Naqqarah and Shehnai from him in Multan; Mohammad Sultan, one of his exceptionally talented students, plays Naqqarah just like the maestro himself. Ataullah played the renowned tune “Yaad Sajan Di” on Shehnai, which was beautifully teamed with Naqarrah by Mohammad Sultan and jazzy beats by Zain Ali.
You can watch it here: