ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The Alliance Française Islamabad, in collaboration with the Alliance Française Lahore, and with the support of the Embassy of France, dedicated an evening in homage to the music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Sunday (February 21) at the premises of the Alliance Française Islamabad.
The tribute started with the presentation of its main biography “The voice of Faith” by its author, the French musicologist Pierre Alain Baud, followed by a short documentary; short film and a Qawwali performance. Then, the Mehr and Sher Ali Qawwal Ensemble brought the public back to Nusrat’s universe.
Nusrat, the “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali”, still lives among us thanks to his most extraordinary and unique music and performances, including the mythical concert in 1985 at the Theatre de la Ville in Paris (France) that launched his international career.
It was at the Theatre de la Ville in 1985 that Pierre-Alain Baud, a French music researcher, journalist and associate researcher with the department of World Religions and Culture, Dhaka University, first heard Nusrat.
He presented during the evening his book “Nusrat: The Voice of Faith,” which is a biography of Nusrat Fateh Ali and a deep account of his life as observed by Pierre-Alain Baud.
Published in paperback in 2015 by Harper Collins India, the book has been described by Newsline magazine as “… a valuable service … which will serve as an important text and an engaging read, not only for Nusrat Fateh Ali fans, but for future generations”.
The book was originally published in French in 2008, under the title “Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Le messager du qawwali.” and edited by Demi-lune (Paris, Demi-lune, coll. « Voix du monde »).The version in English is translated by Renuka George, also film-maker based in New Delhi. Renuka also spoke at the event.
The book presentation was followed by a short film on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
The Qawwali concert begun right after the presentations. Performing on the evening was the Mehr and Sher Ali Qawwal Ensemble. Mehr and Sher Ali are followers of the Talvandi classical school of Indian music. They were trained by their father who was a classical singer in Patiala and later a disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of legendary Qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.