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Australia Goes Sufi- Yes it is true
This far-away distant southern land seems to be making giant leaps and becoming the most extraordinary example by embracing innovation and spirituality.
By: loud junction
Australian music assets are now starting to show some diversity. It is home to singer songwriters from many different parts of the world. One story that shines through is the success of Pakistan born singer songwriter Mahmood Khan who became the first Artist in Australian music history to achieve mainstream success by going number one on the ARIA Pop charts with his song Like the River. It was recorded live at the Sydney opera House. He is the only Asian music artist who has been granted Australian Citizenship for his contribution to the industry. Not bad for an immigrant who entered Australia on a student visa to study films.
Australia is constantly improving in the way it accepts immigrants into the country. It is how they are treated and managed by the society and the community in which they live and the access to language, culture and integration programmes when they are here, that is critically important. There is no such dedicated system is in place for artists and singer songwriters which makes Mahmood Khan's story even more incredible.
Pakistan has no music labels, no publishers and no entity that protects intellectual property rights. The music industry was hi jacked by soft drink manufacturers years ago. These brands now use popular music as a platform to promote their products while ignoring the important artist ownership factors of originality and intellectual property and growth that are in place in the Western world to curb exploitation. Still, in the future, it's possible that Pakistani artists with Western music industry knowledge will become the energy that propels transfer technology to create a legitimate and vibrant music industry.
But things are a changing and are being given exposure from an unlikely source! Iqra university, one of Pakistan's biggest institutions is developing a talk/performance style program that will focus on originality in an attempt to cultivate a new crop of Artists, writers and poets of tomorrow. This bold step is a testament that big changes can come from the education sector where research and critical thinking have a capacity to be a catalyst for a new approach.
Meanwhile in Canberra, Australia's multicultural national capital, the performance of Sufi music is becoming more frequent. Australian Sufi music is just starting to emerge and more than anything it seems to be about respect and celebration of the abundance of this land. At the forefront of this genre is Mahmood Khan who writes about stories of survival and spirituality and oneness. In 1997 he also produced an album for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who is considered as the greatest Qawali Maestro to ever come.
The next performance of Sufi music is coming to Canberra on Sunday March 4th at the Canberra Grammar School's Tim Matthews Theatre, Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan and Mahmood Khan will present Sufi Night.
The Sufi Night with Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan and Mahmood Khan is a Rana Atif Nisar promotion.
Tickets and programme information can be obtained from Rana Atif (04244 444 452) and Kashif Chemma (0407 061 536).
Watch Like the River https://www.youtube.com/