Ahsan Bari, who was recently a part of the TCF effort, ‘Taare’ which brought together more than 30 musicians, said in an earlier conversation with Instep that in 2019, his focus will remain on Ahsan Bari Music and not only Sounds of Kolachi.
Given that and how we consume content – no longer longing for that one favourite music video on that one music channel – it isn’t surprising that Ahsan Bari is embracing a variety of efforts across multiple platforms.
To that end has come the announcement, “Ahsan Bari Music presents Mukalma - a multi-dimensional, context driven dialogue extracting meaning from different genres of music with legends & contemporary musicians of Pakistan.”
The first episode of the “mindfully curated Mukalma & musical sequence on Sufism with Ahsan Bari” is scheduled to take place, beginning with music group Chand Tara Orchestra (CTO) and is scheduled to take place at the Mad School.
Speaking about Mukalma, Bari told Instep, “It’s this thing I’m starting, a series of dialogues. The focus – at least for now – is music. I want to talk to various people. The first one is with Chand Tara Orchestra. My topic is Sufism and a lot of things associated with it, in terms of music; I have a list of questions that we will talk on… things like Sufism starting from Amir Khusro to the commercial journey it has become. We will have a very unconventional, meditational kind of jam session with CTO as well.”
But, and fortunately, the idea doesn’t end there. As Bari tells Instep, this is the first in a series of long ideas. And he is excited about it. Talking to Instep further, Bari notes, “In my series, I will have Arshad Mahmud sahib, Zia Mohyeddin, Tina Sani and I will move towards modern musicians as well such as Faraz Anwar, Xulfi (Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan) and Mekaal Hasan and the likes. I really want to go and talk to Rohail Hyatt as well at some point, get his perspective. This is a series I’m doing and a lot of it is going to be in the form of live events and some sessions will be such that I go and sit with people and talk to them. It’s going to be available on my YouTube channel. For example, for Zia sahib, it is difficult to get out so I will do a session with him at NAPA. With Mekaal Hasan, perhaps in the studio. So far, I’ve prepared Tina Sani appa and Arshad Mahmud sahib. The ideal situation would be getting Tina appa and Arshad sahib in one session.”
Meanwhile, Paanch – The Mixtape, is describing itself as a “Community-led Creative Arts Platform” with Babar Sheikh, Ahsan Bari and Wajiha Athar Naqvi helming it. As the name suggests, it includes five artists: Jimmy Khan, Natasha Baig, Mughal-e-Funk, Chand Tara Orchestra and Sounds of Kolachi.
According to Bari, it is coming along nicely. “All the songs are complete. We want to launch it on August 17 and we are collaborating with some people, in terms of live curation. The level of excitement is rising.”