On Radio 3 Now

In Tune

16:30 - 17:30

Sean Rafferty presents a selection of music and guests from the arts world.

Next On Air

17:30 Opera on 3

View full schedule

Awards for World Music 2008
 
Faiz ali faiz
FAIZ ALI FAIZ (Pakistan)
Your love makes me dance
Faiz ali faiz album cover
This Pakistani singer was born in 1962 into a family steeped for seven generations in qawwali ­ the mystical Sufi music that historically preached divine love and religious instruction to illiterate followers of Islam. Faiz Ali Faiz studied both classical and qawwali singing, and launched his professional career in 1978. Since then, he has steadily accumulated praise for his ecstatically soaring vocal style. For this, he acknowledges the influence of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ­ the Pavarotti of the Sufi world, who took qawwali out of the shrine onto the world stage and experimented with daring fusions.

It's appropriate then that Faiz Ali Faiz should break new ground of his own. His international solo releases The New Qawwali Voice (2002) and Your Love Makes Me Dance (2004) have included interpretations of pieces popularised by Nusrat, and the lavish double CD and DVD Qawwali Flamenco (Accords Croises, 2006) does the same, with the added twist of a tentative but frequently inspired fusion of qawwali and flamenco. This new project with Spanish flamenco singers Duquende and Miguel Poveda plus guitarist Chicuelo has led to his third nomination for these awards.

Bringing the two genres together was a challenge. The monodic qawwali tradition uses only notes and scales, contrasting with flamenco's harmonic, chord-based system. And while qawwali texts are concerned exclusively with the sacred, flamenco has a more earthy, 'profane' lyrical tradition. Yet in both, the singers rely on the power of poetry to access deep emotions, achieving a kind of spiritual disappearing act to become an ego-free vehicle for the message of love. Qawwali and flamenco also share a surprisingly similar wailing, sobbed vocal delivery which suggests an ancient common link in the call of a muezzin or perhaps the melismas of the Gypsy tribes who migrated out of West Asia across Europe a millennia ago. It's no surprise that the rhythmic palmas of flamenco find their echo in the clapped accompaniment of a qawwali party. Qawwali Flamenco seems to suggest that the elusive flamenco concept of duende has a counterpart in the qawwali state of haal (pure ecstasy).

Jon Lusk.

www.accords-croises.com
Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

David Alexander
Great groove on a Thursday night.

Nav Awan
Qawwalli is full of metaphors and other-worldly sounds and has for centuries caused listeners to go into a trance. Whilst Faiz is unable call himself the inheritor of the late great Qawwalli Master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he is able to capture some of the subtle nuances of this sufic form with heart and soul.

Ali, Manchester
Faiz deserves the award as he is the new qawwali master I have come across.

Sajad, Rochdale
Excellent talent. Just amazing.

Ash, Glasgow
So sooo soo good.

Tell us what you think:

Your Name and Location:

Your comments:

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.