By Hammad Bilal
Started by a group of three students — Sagheer Muhammad ’19, Usama Mustafa ’19, Abdullah Mashhood ’16 — the Folk Music series is devoted to training students for Rubab, Bansuri, and Eastern Vocals. A first of its kind, it converges on reviving and instilling the lost elements of eastern music among the members of the LUMS community.
Muhammad, who hails from Gilgit, experienced the dual symphony of music and teaching throughout his career. “It was a dream of mine to study with Niaz Hunzai, a prominent musician, and after receiving his tutelage, I was committed to passing it on,” says Muhammad. “The music of language is so complex and fulfilling. The best way to live it, for me, would be to practice it, and to practice it would be to pass it on.”
Along with Muhammad is Usama Mustafa ’19, a Management Major. Affiliated with and working for the Gurmani Center at LUMS, he is acquainted with the study of music in academic settings as well as the feeble opportunities available to practice it, particularly in Mustafa’s case.
“I was mostly self-taught,” says Mustafa, who managed his studies alongside his passion, “but I was lucky enough to find a group of friends like Sagheer and Mashhood, outside of my regular classes, before joining the nascent amateur scene.”
To complete the Folk Music Project, Mashhood ’16, a co-member of Soz, teaches the Bansuri. Soz is the band he plays in alongside Muhammad and Mustafa. The community of harmonious presences that are enrolled in their classes round off this collaborative experience in the musicality of learning.
This sentiment is echoed by Waqas Manzoor, a second-year M.Phil student at the School of Education (SOE) and Host of the troupe, Khokha Natak, who credits his education to the performing arts: “As a complete experience in living and being, theater and music evolve you as a person, to observe for material you can use, to look for notes in the lilt of a breeze, to educate you in empathy, observation, and introspection.”
The Folk classes take place every weekend at 6:00, SSE.
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