"The Master Of The Forty Nine Notes": The Quietus publishes profile on Ustad Saami

"The Master Of The Forty Nine Notes": The Quietus publishes profile on Ustad Saami

Tue Sep 24th
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Pakistan’s Ustad Saami is the last living khayál master, a precursor of the ancient, Islamic devotional music of qawwali. Even under threat of Islamic fundamentalists, the 75-year old master has spent his life as a dedicated practitioner of a vanishing art--one that has been passed on from generation to generation since the 13th century. Saami will give a very rare live performance at Le Guess Who? 2019.

Leading up to his performance at the festival, The Quietus publishes a profile about the khayál master, and talk to his producer Ian Brennan. The article was previously published in Dutch in Front magazine (written by Dirk Baart) and translated for tQ, with their permission, by Jasper Willems. Read the full feature here

"Each and every day, the life of Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, 75, is in danger. Saami is the embodiment of a century-old musical tradition passed on by his ancestors. A tradition that’s fiercely repelled by fundamentalists within Pakistan’s Islamic communities. Though Ustad Saami has passed on his wisdom to his sons and students, he is still the only soul on earth with the knowhow to perform all forty-nine notes that encompass the astonishingly intricate khayál-technique. When Ustad Saami dies, these forty-nine notes die with him. But now, for the very first time, his music has been captured on a record and he will give a very rare performance outside of Pakistan, at Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, The Netherlands." - The Quietus

Ustad Saami performs at Le Guess Who? 2019 on Saturday, 9 November as part of the project 'Hidden Musics'. Also performing at the festival are a.o. Ayalew Mesfin & Debo Band, Lakha Khan, Asha Puthli, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley & His Sekondi Band, Aldous Harding, Fatoumata Diawara, La Bruja de Texcoco, and many more

Photography: Marilena Delli

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