Robert Browning Associates presents A WORLD IN TRANCE FESTIVAL: FARID AYAZ, ABU MUHAMMAD & BROTHERS QAWWAL – Sufi Music of Pakistan

Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

Thursday, April 30: Noura Mint Seymali/Fula Flute
Friday, May 1: Farid Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & Brothers Qawwal
Saturday, May 2: Hassan Hakmoun
Sunday, May 3:  Ned Rothenberg & Glen Velez/Alash, Tuvan Throat Singers

This festival will feature music of Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Tuva and the US that transcends boundaries and brings the listener to a state of ecstasy and enchantment.

Farid Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & Brothers Qawwal perform qawwali, the ecstatic devotional music of Sufi Muslims made famous in the West by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The 9-member ensemble has gained international recognition for its renditions of both the popular traditional form and the more introspective ancient classical qawwali that is seldom heard today.   Similar to gospel in its use of call-and-response and spiritual fervor, qawwali songs are accompanied by percussive handclapping, harmonium, tabla (drums), and a chorus.  Qawwali (Urdu for “utterance”) songs range from 13th century mystical Persian poems to more recent Punjabi poems that speak of the intoxication of divine love. The qawwali singer or qawwal is regarded as God’s interpreter and devotees sometimes enter into trance. The group sings in many languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Bengali and Purbi.

Festival Pass: $95 (Save 24% on all tickets)


Time Out New York:
Let’s get one thing straight: The trance in the title doesn’t refer to Burning Man. Drop by Roulette and get enlightened by practitioners of ecstatic, consciousness-altering traditional music from Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Tuva and the U.S. See for details, but we expect that every night will be pure magic.

Village Voice:
An ecstatic array of non-electronic repetition will be explored during “A World in Trance,” four nights of transporting sounds from a half-dozen countries. The powerful Mauritanian griot singer Noura Mint Seymali and her dazzling guitarist husband, Jeiche Ould Chighaly, commence the festivities tonight with Bailo Bah and Sylvain Leroux, who play the pastoral flute music of West Africa’s Fula people. Friday is devoted to virtuosic Sufi praise songs via the dynamic Pakistani qawwali group led by Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad. Accompanying himself on sintir, a three-stringed, goatskin-covered bass lute, Marrakesh-born Hassan Hakmoun will perform Gnawa ritual musicon Saturday. The spell lifts Sunday following the overtone-rich “throat singing” of Tuva’s Alash, with Ned Rothenberg and Glen Velez improvising transnational trance music on woodwinds and frame drum, respectively.