Shujaat Khan’s new album, This Pale, brings Rumi’s poetry to life
Grammy-nominated sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan will drench your soul in Rumi’s poetry with his latest album, This Pale
Grammy award-nominated sitar maestro Shujaat Husain Khan takes his love for Persian music to a new height with his latest album, This Pale. Calling it an organic collaboration with renowned Iranian-American vocalist Katayoun Goudarzi, the album creates a tapestry of Rumi’s soul-stirring poetry with melody and rhythm in harmony. Sitting at his studio in Goa, Shujaat tells us, “During the lockdown with live concerts not happening, we decided to create something soul-stirring for the connoisseurs of classical music, as we had our studios at our disposal.”
Shujaat has released over 60 albums and one of the high points of his career has been the album, The Rain. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004 for Best World Music Album category for its Indo-Persian hybrid ghazal ensemble. Kolkata-born Shujaat has partnered with Katayoun quite a few times in the past but this time he wanted to gift the world an alternative to commercial music. He avers, “When a group performs together the focus is on the rhythm to create a thrill or excitement. But I wanted to present an alternative where beautiful lyrics of poets like Rumi and Ghalib can come together in harmony with melody and rhythm. People should understand that this is also good music.”
This Pale has a total of six songs which include verses from seven different ghazals of the mystic Persian poet, and they touch upon various emotions. From love and peace to longing and death, the album has all the shades of Rumi’s emotions. “We wanted to present Rumi because his verses are an elixir to the soul. He used to write in Persian and Katayoun speaks Farsi and she has presented the nazms so beautifully. Iranian ney player Shaho Andalibi and 5th-generation tabla player Shariq Mustafa have also done an incredible job. We also have the translations so that the audience can understand the meaning,” explains Shujaat who tell us in jest that his Hindi and Urdu are not up to the mark.
With live music scene coming back to life, Shujaat is eager to meet Indian Classical music connoisseurs and will be soon performing in Kolkata. “It’s the live music scene that has suffered the most during this pandemic and though I performed online on requests, we all know the magic of the physical concert is irreplaceable,” signs off Shujaat.
This Pale will be released on October 1.