Salt Arts and Ali Hamza join forces for Sanwal

As we enter the last month of the year, there is a lot to be grateful for, at least musically speaking. Our story begins with Sanwal, a music project that has been created by Ali Hamza, otherwise known as one-half of the music group, Noori.

For the last few weeks, the band has been touring Punjab and giving fans in cities like Islamabad, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Okara (and in several other vicinities) a taste of their electric live shows. And though the band is still very much together, Ali Hamza’s Sanwal, a conceptual project, marks the birth of an experimental space that will see Hamza’s “introspective journey” that has grown “organically” come forth. Hamza, in a conversation with Instep, revealed as much and also explained that his approach to it is both thoughtful and relaxed.

After an arresting promo, put together by team Salt Arts - who have consistently given Karachi many, many nights of glorious music - was released recently, the project Sanwal is being launched with a series of live performances in the city of Karachi. Hamza’s tour of Karachi will consist of two shows, presented by Salt Arts. The first one will take place on December 14 at Alliance Francaise de Karachi, while the second one will be held on December 15 at Cafe Flo, also in Karachi. 

Sanwal, described by its presenters as a “space for collaborative creative expression, which is tied to indigeneity, to music and to the poetics of sound and memory” will see Hamza “performing his popular songs, Sanwal originals, indie folk, western classics”. A glimpse of what this musical journey will sound like can be heard/felt in the promo which includes a verse ‘Ni Guddiye’ and song ‘Lag Ja Re Aisay’ - both written and composed by Ali Hamza/Sanwal.

Other than Ali Hamza, the line-up will feature brilliant musicians like Danish Khwaja, Sameer Ahmed, Rakae Jamil and Kami Paul.

And since we’re on the subject of Salt Arts, it must be added that their past record suggests that these upcoming shows will be worth investing your time and money in. Having designed several shows in the past 12 months or so, Salt Arts are ending the year with a bang; their ‘Salt Soirée’ series was concluded with a finale show that featured a colorful line-up that consisted of Rachel Viccaji, Sikander Mufti, Anas Alam Khan, Jasir Abro, Shahab Hussain and Sohaib Ali Khan. Bottom line: watch out for this unique union of artistic forces.

—Maheen Sabeeh