Worlds Within Worlds and Qais Essar are proud to present Shakar Shack Vol 1: Gulaab Jammin’.
Featuring Qais Essar, Neelamjit Dhillon, Sandeep Singh and Absolute Focus (Kamaljeet Ahluwalia and Jas Ahluwalia), this 7” EP shows a lighter side of Indian classical music, drawing from the folk traditions of Punjab and Afghanistan. The short format of the recording harks back to the era where raags were condensed to fit 45RPM records played on gramophones and record players.
Qais Essar says “It is quite a challenge to present the essence of the raag in under 6 min but we felt inspired and motivated by the masters and those that came before us. This is a revival of that tradition in the modern era, where again music is having to be condensed.”
The EP begins with a rendition of Raag Bhairavi by Qais Essar. Bhairavi is a popular morning raag that is found in all musical traditions of the region, be it in folk, ghazal, or light classical. Traditionally, a classical performance is ended with Bhairavi.
Next, Absolute Focus present Raga Pahadi - a popular raga based on folk music and originates from the mountainous region of Himalayas. It resembles two other ragas which also display the rich cultural heritage of folk music: Mand from the Rajasthan region and Pilu from the Hindi heartland. It is a light raga and resembles more like a 'dhun' or folk song.
On the importance of this release, Qais explains “I think anything that can get you to slow down in this day and age is something that is very necessary. Although this is presented and packaged in a condensed form, it still requires the listener to slow down, and listen."
"There’s such purity in this music, so meticulous in design. Listening with intention can open worlds before your eyes, or at the least, bring you some peace, before you re-enter the stream of everyday consciousness.”
released March 27, 2020
Recorded in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Punjab (India)
Produced by: Qais Essar
Mix/Engineering: Qais Essar
Masterering: Eric Zang (Las Vegas)
Qais Essar - Rabab
Dr Neelamjit Dhillon - Tabla
feat Sandeep Singh - Dilruba
Absolute Focus is:
Kamaljeet Ahluwalia - Santoor
Jas Ahluwalia - Tabla