Coke Studio will be releasing the fourth episode of Season 12 on 15th November 2019, featuring Gulon Main Rang by Ali Sethi with Shahzad Ali and Fazal Abbas, Dhola by Sahir Ali Bagga and Aima Baig, and Hairaan Hua by Sanam Marvi.
Gulon Main Rang:
Written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and first sung in the voice of Mehdi Hassan Khan, Gulon Main Rang is a ghazal that shows the magic that is created when poetry joins the music. Written in 1954 during his imprisonment in Montgomery Prison, Gulon Main Rang showcases Faiz’s ability to interweave classical idioms of romance and Divine Love with those of revolution and social justice. The poetry implores one’s beloved to return so that colors would return to flowers and springtime would descend on the world. The writer is sad and lovelorn one moment, yearning to hear of their beloved, and optimistic the next, celebrating their own sacrifices in the name of love.
Composed for Mehdi Hassan Khan in Raag Jhinjhoti, the ghazal was first aired on Radio Pakistan and then used in the soundtrack for the film Farangee in 1964. Gulon Main Rang remained an oft-requested part of Khan Sahab’s repertoire till the end of his career and is now being revived on Coke Studio in Ali Sethi’s voice.
Coke Studio’s rendition of Gulon Mein Rang stays true to the traditional essence of the ghazal, featuring the harmonium and tabla while refreshing it with contemporary instruments and accents. For Ali, doing a rendition of this ghazal is a chance for him to evolve as an artist by attempting to learn from the masters of bygone eras. As a student, he hopes that just in the process of attempting this ghazal, in the effort of doing it justice, he will learn and grow as an artist.
“When you express your feelings through your voice and poetry, you are inviting people to recognize their own emotions. Music is a miracle. If you move someone’s heart with music, all differences between you and them are wiped away for a bit.” said Ali Sethi.
A song celebrating the happiness and vulnerability of love, Dhola features Sahir Ali Bagga and Aima Baig, as they embody the conversation between two lovestruck companions. Composed by Bagga in Seraiki, the song was a challenge for both artists. For Bagga, this a true performance piece and, in the process of embodying a new character to bring life to the song, the artist adjusted his vocal range to sing at a higher octave. Aima too exhibits the full range of her vocals, challenging herself by singing in a language that she is not well versed in.
In Dhola, as the two characters converse, one is reminded that love is about vulnerability, without which one could not experience the delight that comes with being truly open with someone else. A festive number, Dhola is ultimately a celebration of love, as it meanders between playful and vulnerable.
“I always want to make music that relates to my land, my culture, and my home. Our raags, our beats, our lyrics – these are our own colors. I want to give my fans the kind of music that shows these colors.” said Sahir Ali Bagga.
“Music doesn’t have a language, it’s about the feeling. You have to put a lot of soul into whatever you are making. Music doesn’t work if you’re only doing it for money or professionally. It works only if it’s from the soul. There’s no price to it.” said Aima Baig.
This season on Coke Studio, Sanam Marvi gives voice to the poetry of Sachal Sarmast in Hairaan Hua. Woven with symbols of Ishq-e-Majazi (worldly love), the verses of Hairaan Hua sing of a beloved whose beauty is wonderous and has enamored the heart of the speaker. As is always the case with Sufi poetry, Sachal Sarmast invites listeners to delve into the meanings layered within this symbolism, to seek that which is not immediately obvious — the Ishq he speaks of in these verses transcends the material, it is nothing less than Ishq-e-Haqiqi, Love of the Divine.
The Beloved in Sarmast’s Hairaan Hua is the Divine who left him wonderstruck, capturing his heart completely and filling him with ecstasy. In Coke Studio’s rendition, Sanam weaves Sachal Sarmast’s words with poetry borrowed from other sources she recalls the Beauty that Moses beheld on Koh-e-Toor when offered a glimpse of his Master, sings of the ecstasy felt by devotees at the prospect of meeting the Divine on the Day of Resurrection and pays homage to the Persian saint Mansur Hallaj. Bringing together these verses in the rich resonance of Sanam’s resounding vocals, Hairaan Hua sheds a light on the ecstatic devotion of Sufi mystics, and the intensity of the love these mystics felt for the Divine.
“It is our responsibility to make music so that the message we are trying to spread through our voice and words reaches people.” said Sanam Marvi.