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Plunging into the theory of music
Posted by :Team Aman newsPosted date : February 13, 2015In MusicComments Off on Plunging into the theory of music
Bari does not just want to treat music as a form of entertainment but also wants to use it as a healing element for social problems. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
Ahsan Bari is a classic example of a journeyman musician. After years of composing songs for musicians and television shows, he is the man of the hour as he takes up the role of vocalist of the newly-formed band Raahi. The band, which boasts a line-up of artistes such as Gumby and Omran Shafique, recently performed their first gig at The Second Floor (T2F), and one thing that stood out about the band was the lesser-known but talented Bari.
Known for his experimental projects, such as the Sounds of Kolachi, Bari spoke to The Express Tribune about how he joined Raahi and the hardship he has had to face over the years. “I became part of a band like Raahi because I wanted to make more mainstream music as compared to the more experimental work I had been doing,” he said.
It’s interesting to see how an individual studying nuclear physics ended up in the world of music. Bari said he had always been inclined towards music, but the dearth of performing arts institutes was why he ended up majoring in physics. His family, too, was not keen on him pursuing a career in music. “I come from a very educated family and, obviously, they were hesitant when I informed them about my decision to shift from the sciences to music,” he stated.
It was not until the formation of the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) that he got the opportunity to study music. “Initially, my father was reluctant but when I showed him that music is like any other subject and that people even earn degrees like PhD in it, he was on board [with it],” he said.
Once enrolled at Napa, Bari began exploring how to play different musical instruments. To ensure that he incorporated all that he learnt at the institute into his music, he formed a student band named Taal Charisma. “I formed Taal Charisma with fellow students and the band was a means to implement all that we had learnt in the classes in our music,” remarked Bari.
He narrated an incident where one of the band members combined his knowledge of mathematics and music to help the band achieve a more experimental sound. “Allan Simon, used his math skills to help us experiment with more complicated time signatures in our music,” he shared. He added that his education at Napa allowed him to learn more about eastern music and use instruments, such as the sarangi, which were gradually becoming obsolete.
Despite his host of achievements, people continued to question his choice of profession. Undeterred by the criticism, he went on explore the art of music. Post-Napa, he did ample self-study on the different styles of music, including the symphony orchestra, at colleges such as the Berklee College of Music. “I acquired notes and papers from my friends who were studying music abroad and used to do further research on them,” he said. He went on to channel that knowledge into his brainchild, Sounds of Kolachi, a 16-member experimental music group.
Bari has also assisted music producers, such as Faisal Rafi, who has made songs for bands including Strings. He terms his collaboration with Shahzad ‘Shahi’ Hassan as a “turning point” in his career. “Not only did I produce Cornetto Music Icons with him but he also provided me with exposure as I got the chance to compose and produce for legends, such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Alamgir,” remarked the musician.
These days, Bari is working on a research paper titled Evolution and contemporary approaches in the music of subcontinent. On how he is juggling between multiple projects, he said, “I am an open-ended musician and don’t want to captivate and trap myself in one genre. Music for me is more than just a form of entertainment, as I want to use it as a healing element for various social problems.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2015.
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