In the monsoon of 2016, on a rainy afternoon - over a cup of tea, we decided to form an ever evolving ensemble that celebrates Southasian sounds and our collective memory of music. This ensemble is co-curated by Ahsan Bari and Salt Arts, and the first show was held in August 2016, titled 'One love Southasia'. Since then the ensemble has performed a number of times as part of our Salt Soiree series in Karachi, and has featured diverse artists such as Omran Shafique, Rahat Ali and Waqas Hussain.
In May 2017, Salt Arts presented an extended audio visual edition of The Southasia Ensemble featuring an insanely rich and contemporary mix of Southasia's most significant musical traditions. We took inspiration from Qawwali which is performed to a critical mass at shrines across the region on Thursday nights, and mixed it with new world sounds composed and produced by Hamza Akram Qawwal and Ahsan Bari Music.
The Southasia Ensemble ft. Hamza + Bari travelled to the UK for the Weekender Festival 2017 in Birmingham UK, in September 2017, supported by the British Council, Culture Central (UK), Sampad Arts (UK) and Salt Arts (PK).
One Love Southasia
Monsoon music - dreamy covers of AR Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Arjit Singh and more - by some of Karachi's most prolific artists including Ahsan Bari, Waqas Hussain, Abdul Aziz Kazi, Saif Abbas Rizwan and Quaid Ahmed.
This is a bit of a personal project, we want to make the sounds that inspired us as kids - available to younger audiences in the city but in a live setting, at easier and more accessible prices and venues. One love, is about our collective identity as Southasian artists and creative producers. The band will be re-introducing the epic music of Rahman from the soundtracks of Bombay (1995) and Taal (1999), and soulful rock renditions of Mehdi Hasan Saheb to young Karachi audiences on Monday - we are very excited. ~ Raania Durrani
We want to explore and build this section of our audience, which is young, playful and open to inspiration, this set list will be mazaaydaar! I am really pushing my boundaries with this show and finding my mark in the space created by the South Asian maestros. ~ Ahsan Bari
Salt Soirée Series: Ahsan Bari & The South Asia Ensemble
Music inspired by the legends: AR Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hasan and Abida Parveen. Ahsan Bari and the South Asia Ensemble ft. Omran Shafique, Saif Abbas Rizwan, Shams Ul Arifeen, Rahat Ali, Shahid Rahman, Waqas Hussain and Bradley D'Souza.
Southasia Ensemble Ft. HAMZA + BARI
The Southasia Ensemble - HAMZA + BARI
Hamza Akram Qawwal & Brothers
Shams ul Arifeen
A rich and contemporary mix of Southasia's most significant musical traditions. We took inspiration from Qawwali which is performed to a critical mass at shrines across the region on Thursday nights, and mixed it with new world sounds composed and produced by Hamza Akram Qawwal and Ahsan Bari Music.
The Southasia Ensemble / UK Tour
The Southasia Ensemble, Ft. Hamza Akram Qawwal and Brothers and Ahsan Bari Music at the Weekender Festival 2017 in Birmingham UK, in September 2017. As part of this creative residency the artists worked closely with the Qawwali Research Unit and the BEAST (Birmingham Electro-acoustic Sound Theatre).
The Ensemble also played their own music and compositions to a full house at mac Birmingham. In a celebration of cultures, they were joined by two UK-based artists, drummer Mikii 'Syk' Furgusson & bass player Cornelius Wynter.
This artistic residency was supported by the British Council, and was a collaboration between Culture Central (UK), Sampad Arts (UK) and Salt Arts (PK).
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