The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

Ghaz­a­law Ghaz­a­law Mar­vels of the Uni­verse

An un­likely di­a­logue be­tween a ghazal singer from In­dia’s most densely pop­u­lated city and a folk singer from a small Welsh sea­side town stands as an exemplar of the “back to the fu­ture” global vil­lage of so-called world fu­sion. Am­bi­ent is ar­guably a more ac­cu­rate moniker for this mu­si­cal syn­the­sis of two su­per­fi­cially dis­parate cul­tures that are linked by a lin­guis­tic re­la­tion­ship to San­skrit. The mel­liflu­ous singing of Mum­bai’s honey-toned Tauseef Akhtar and Cric­ci­eth’s sweet-voiced Gwyneth Glyn, in­di­vid­u­ally or in uni­son, and the po­etic na­ture and emo­tional com­pat­i­bil­ity of their re­spec­tive lan­guages, Urdu and Welsh, cre­ates lis­ten­ing guar­an­teed to soothe the most sav­age breast. Glyn’s stan­zas, dat­ing back to me­dieval times, and Akhtar’s an­cient love po­ems fit like vel­vet gloves — as do the gos­samer in­stru­men­tal beds made by Manas Ku­mar’s In­dian vi­o­lin, Ashish Jha’s tabla per­cus­sion, San­joy Das’s acous­tic gui­tar and Georgia Ruth Wil­liams’s exquisitely played Welsh harp. Wil­liams makes valu­able back-up con­tri­bu­tions on vo­cals. While there’s lit­tle va­ri­ety in tempo or feel through­out Ghaz­a­law’s epony­mous de­but al­bum, a swift ex­change be­tween fid­dler and tabla player at the end of Apni Ruswaayee / Se­fyll Yn Stond pro­vides a soup­con of ex­cite­ment and the sim­i­larly tongue-twist­ingly ti­tled tail-end tracks, Guzur Jaayenge Jab Din / Hi­raeth and Jugnu Ke Si­tara Tha / Hen Ferchetan are en­livened by fla­menco-es­que gui­tar false­tas and gypsy-style vi­o­lin. Over­all, Ghaz­a­law is gen­tly mes­meris­ing and med­i­ta­tive rather than mind-blow­ing, ren­der­ing it more suit­able as a sound­track for a yoga school ses­sion than a fes­ti­val rave.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.