Category Archives: India & Pakistan: music, culture, social issues


1Presented by ARC
Co-Sponsor by HarmoNYom
461New York-The ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC) announces the launch of India Music Week (IMW) from October 6-13, 2013!

This will be a full week of concerts, radio shows and academic events occurring around the world. IMW will be an online website to present, promote and explore the rich cultural heritage of Indian music of the past, present and future. IMW will offer videos, histories, seminars, concerts, lectures, sound files, sheet music, broadcasts, narrowcasts, album cover art galleries, essays, blogs, photos and links all highlighting the importance and beauty of Indian music as well as educate a global audience about it’s many genres and facets.

For full program of Events and Concerts:

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Have you heard of the Pakistani band “Noori” pioneers of the Pakistani rock music scene?!

Noori (“light” in Urdu) is an indie rock band from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, formed in 1996. The band is known for being one of the pioneers of the Pakistani rock music scene. It was formed by songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, Ali Noor, along with his younger brother Ali Hamza on rhythm guitar and back vocals. After many member changes they recruited John L. Pintoon on drums and Muhammad Ali Jafri on bass in 2012. Meanwhile Noori has put out three studio albums:

Though influenced by Western pop, rock and jazz music such as Abba, Elvis Presley and John Coltrane, Noori’s music is  still rooted in their native music tradition. During a summer tour in America in 2012, Asia Society New York‘s Rachel Cooper and Vivek Gupta were able to sit down with the band’s members — Ali Noor, Ali Hamza and John Louis ‘Gumby’ Pinto — at Asia Society New York to talk about their approach to music.

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Endless Road: the Continuing Evolution of the Sitar

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Not long ago, I had an interesting experience.

Some time ago I attended a performance at The Stone in New York City with Steve Gorn and Curtis Bahn. Gorn played flute, bansuri, and percussion, and Bahn played electronic sitar, esraj, and laptop. As I sat on the floor in the uncomfortably hot and humid room, I was enraptured by the multi-layered sounds of the two masters. Gorn is no stranger to listeners of Indian classical music. Additionally, he has a background in classical and non-classical western music; trained in jazz and electronic music. Bahn, a student of Ustad Shaheed Parvez Khan, and computer programmer, had commissioned the building of a completely different instrument that combined the sitar with new design technologies, and unprecedented electronics, including a computer interface. The instrument has WII controller – motion sensors / physical sensors, pitch sensor, accent sensor, etc. The bow of his esraj was outfitted with a motion sensor. These all ran through a laptop with a program he wrote. The duo made marvelous use of both acoustic and electronic sounds, blending them perfectly within their improvisations. Samples were looped, tabla tarang sounds held down intricate rhythms. The overall concert was astonishingly beautiful. It was a music that spoke of a timeless truth. I left the Stone with a refreshed outlook on everything; something the best musical performances should do for the audience.

Not long afterward, my friend Sohrab (who publishes this magazine) started bugging me for the article I promised him. Naturally, I said “Yeah, I’ll get right on it” (poor Sohrab; he hears that from me all too often.) But, after some rumination, I abandoned the idea of writing a review. There was something else happening here; evidence of something greater.

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