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01 septembre 2007

WOMAD issues an apology

Organisers of the Womad festival have been forced to apologise to festival-goers amid complaints over poor management. The event, held last month, was marred by torrential rain and freak weather conditions. The report was prepared by organisers in response to a series of allegations posted on the Internet about parking, staff and general management of the site.

A spokesperson for the festival said: "As organisers, we deeply regret the difficulties our customers experienced at the festival. We are disappointed that people feel that not enough was being done when our crew were working 20 hours each day to keep the festival going.Once there are thousands of people on the festival site, how we manage it changes, with public safety being the priority. At its peak, there were 40 tractors on the site pulling both customers and traders to safety. We are disappointed that valued fans and customers believe that in some way we deceived people about the conditions on the site - we did not."

More than 60 people have posted comments on the festival website under the discussion heading, Womad Rip Off'. One customer, known only as Michelles, said: "The site was not family and disabled friendly - it was more like a battle zone. What an awful weekend - I have been going to Womad for 13 years and it was a disgrace to treat loyal festival-goers this way."

Legendary Armenian duduk virtuoso in Turkey for peace

“We have lived together for so long; we don't need a mediator. We are able to resolve our problems if we want to. The time has come to set fighting aside. We should raise the next generations with brotherhood not with enmity. “Identity and sense of belonging are futile. When I blow into the duduk, I feel a heavenly joy of love, peace, serenity and fraternity running through my cells. Politics and borders are far from my magical world.”

World famous 'duduk' virtuoso from Armenia, Djivan Gasparyan, is giving a concert with Turkish saz player and vocalist Yavuz Bingöl in Istanbul today in honor of International Day of Peace. "My instrument is the voice of peace; I came here to lend a breath for the brotherhood of two nations," says Gasparyan, stressing that the trauma between Turks and Armenians would be overcome through tolerance and understanding.

Gasparyan and Bingöl will play in the Open Air Theatre in Harbiye. Gasparyan aims to reinforce peace and brotherhood between the two countries as he emphasizes how wrong it is to feed young generations with hostility. Following his Istanbul concert, Gasparyan will meet his fans in Ankara tomorrow evening at MEB Şura Hall.

Bingöl says this concert will be an unforgetable experience for him. The Turkish musician said he was deeply upset by the developments that followed the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. "We will be hand in hand with Gasparyan against racism, borders and wars."

Living between Los Angeles and the Armenian capital of Yerevan Gasparyan is happy to be in Istanbul for the World Peace Day. Despite his hectic schedule, the world famous artist did not turn down Bingöl's offer to play a concert together. Problems can be overcome at the negotiation table, not with fighting or war, Gasparyan says. "We have lived together for centuries; we don't need a mediator. We are able to resolve our problems if we want to." Gasparyan emphasizes that interference from outside only deepens the problems between the two nations, yet he has hopes for the future. Bingöl doesn't speak Armenian and Gasparyan doesn't know Turkish, but Gasparyan says, "Art doesn't need a translator. Notes and melodies will help us to communicate."

From time to time, the origin of folkloric songs causes controversy between Armenians and Turks, says the artist. “This is unnecessary,” he adds. "We have lived together for centuries. It is difficult to decide the origin of an anonymous piece." He says that they will provide the lyrics to the anonymous "Sarı Gelin" folk song both in Armenian and Turkish. "This folk song is claimed by Azeris and Iranians as much as Turks and Armenians. We should put discussions aside and concentrate on the feeling this song gives us inside."

'Politics and borders are far from my magical world'

Gasparyan's geniology dates back to the Eastern city of Muş in Turkey. His father named Gasparyan after the famous Armenian artist "Aiuğ Djivan". Today, Gasparyan is 79. But he began to blow the duduk at six. Influenced by a movie he watched when he was a child, he began selling empty bottles in order to buy a duduk for himself. This double reed woodwind instrument's Armenian name is "zsiranapoh", a 3,000-year-old traditional Armenian instrument. It is ideally made from the wood of apricot tree.

Gasparyan shares an experience he had with one of his many fans. During the Soviet period, before a concert in Russia an old woman came to see Gasparyan with a book in her hand. She said that she didn't have money and wanted to give her book in exchange for a concert ticket. Gasparyan didn't accept her book and found a seat for her in the hall. He had been named best-known artist among the Soviet republics at the time. A Gasparyan concert held in Stalin's honor remains a vivid memory.

Gasparyan met British producer Brian Eno in 1989 and says it was a turning point in his life. After the meeting, Gasparyan worked with many famous artists and won admiration the world over. He gave concerts in almost every country,. Despite being 79, Gasparyan is still busy with recitals. “Identity and sense of belonging are futile. When I blow into the duduk, I feel a heavenly joy of love, peace, serenity and fraternity running through my cells. Politics and borders are far from my magical world.”

In honor of Gasparyan's 62nd anniversary in performing arts, a special night will be held in Los Angeles on Sept. 20. Many important names of politics and art circles are expected to join this special event to honor a lifetime of musical accomplishment. BOX Who is Djivan Gasparyan? Djivan Gasparyan, born 1928 in Solag, Armenia, is a world-renowned musician and composer. He plays the duduk, an Armenian double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Djivan Gasparyan is known to be the master of Duduk. He has won four world-wide gold Medal UNESCO competitions (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980). In 1973, he became the first musician to receive the honorary title of People's Artist of Armenia. A professor at the Yerevan Conservatory, he has instructed and nurtured many performers to professional levels of performance in duduk. In 2002, he received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) lifetime achievement award. He has toured the world several times with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music.He has collaborated with many artists, such as Hossein Alizadeh, Sting, Erkan Oğur, Michael Brook, Peter Gabriel, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, Boris Grebenshchikov, Hans Zimmer and Andreas Vollenweider. Djivan Gasparyan and Hossein Alizadeh were jointly nominated for a 2007 Grammy award for their 2006 collaboration album Endless Vision.

What is duduk?

The duduk is a traditional woodwind instrument of Armenian origins. This English word is often used generically for a family of ethnic instruments including the doudouk, literally "apricot horn" in Armenia, the düdük in Turkey, the duduki in Georgia, the balaban in Iran and Azerbaijan, the duduka or dudka in Russia and Ukraine, duduk in Serbia, and the daduk in Bulgaria. The English word has been asserted as derived from the Russian word "dudka", or from the Turkish word "düdük".

Discography : The United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) granted Mr. Gasparyan with four gold medals due to his service to world's culture. Gasparyan also made the musics of 39 Holywood films such as “Call for Sin,” “Gladiator,” and “Ronin”.

I Will Not Be Sad in This World (All Saints, 1989) Moon Shines at Night (All Saints) Ask Me No Questions (1996) Apricots From Eden (1996) The Crow, soundtrack Black Rock, with Michael Brook (1998) Djivan Gasparyan Quartet (Libra Music 1998) The Siege, soundtrack (1998) Eden Roc (Ludovico Einaudi, 1999) Heavenly Duduk (Network 1999) Cosmopoly, as guest of Andreas Vollenweider (EDEL records, SLG records (USA/Canada) Armenian Fantasies (2000) Gladiator, soundtrack Fuad, with Erkan Ogur (Traditional Turkish & Armenian songs) (2001) Blood of the Snake, Derek Sherinian (2006) (Gaspayran appears on the track "Prelude To Battle") RockPaperScissors, Michael Brook (2006)(Gaspayran appears on track "Pasadena part two")

30 août 2007

Nat Geo’s Sea Monsters Attacks IMAX

National Geographic's new large-format film, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, will premiere worldwide in IMAX venues and other specialty theaters on Friday, Oct. 5. The movie employs 3D animation to bring extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age to the really big screen in both stereoscopic 3D and and standard 2D formats.

Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber (The Omen, The Manchurian Candidate), Sea Monsters offers an original score by Richard Evans, David Rhodes and Peter Gabriel as it takes audiences on a journey into the relatively unexplored world of massive reptiles that lived beneath the water during Cretaceous period. Funded in part through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the film follows a family of Dolichorhynchops, known informally as "Dollies," as they traverse ancient waters populated with saber-toothed fish, prehistoric sharks and giant squids. The cast of characters also includes animated representations of the giraffe-necked Styxosaurus, the 20-foot "bulldog" fish Xiphactinus and the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus, known as the T-Rex of the ocean.

Distributed by National Geographic, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure will be supported by companion books for both adults and young readers in standard, 3D and pop-up formats. A video game licensed by Destination Software Incorporated will be released to coincide with the worldwide premiere of the film and will be available for Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Wii systems. An additional line of Sea Monsters licensed products, including plush toys, puzzles and apparel, will be available at

29 août 2007

August's Full Moon Club Update

Peter talks about the end of The Warm Up Tour, WOMAD,
The Imagined Village and Sevara in this month's video update.

Youssou n'Dour : nouvelle date de concert à Paris

29-08-07 - Déjà programmé dans le cadre du Festival d'Ile de France en septembre, Youssou n’Dour sera de retour début novembre pour un concert au Bataclan. L'occasion d'entendre en live les chansons de son nouvel album à paraître en septembre.

Après Myriam Makeba, Manu Dibango et Mory Kante, le Sénégalais Youssou n’Dour est un des grands musiciens Africain à avoir réussi le cross over. L’inventeur du Mbalax accèda à la notoriété internationale en collaborant avec Peter Gabriel, en participant à la tournée d’Amnesty Internationale (1988) et en chantant en duo avec Neneh Cherry "7 Seconds". Mais "L’Enfant chéri de la Médina" est toujours resté ancré dans son pays, créant un studio d’enregistrement à Dakar et un label pour produire et diffuser des artistes africains sur leur continent.

Information et réservation

27 août 2007

Daniel Lanois finally gives us what we want

102.1 The Edge presents Daniel Lanois with Brian Blade and Friends live in concert Monday September 10 and Tuesday September 11, 2007 at The Great Hall, Toronto, Ontario, 1087 Queen Street West

Toronto - 102.1 the Edge is proud to present Daniel Lanois with Brian Blade, September 10 and 11 at the Great Hall located on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario. The concerts coincide with the premiere of Lanois’ debut film, Here Is What Is, at the Toronto International Film Festival that same week.

The concerts will feature songs from Daniel’s film and his up and coming solo album. Lanois will be joined on stage by drummer Brian Blade. Other musical guests will be announced in the coming days.

About Here Is What Is

Here Is What Is is a sonic, filmic, journey to unique and captivating places from the last year and a half of Lanois’ life. The camera work is classic, uninterrupted and deadly committed. The film opens with a magical performance on the piano by Canada's national treasure, Garth Hudson.

The film includes moments of Lanois philosophizing with his old friend Brian Eno during an exotic visit to Morocco, where the Eno Lanois production team has been working with Irish friends, U2. Lanois also travels to the birthplace of the groove - the Deep South, Shreveport, Louisiana and sits in with Brian Blade at the Zion Baptist Church where a roaring rendition of This May Be The Last Time is delivered by Brian's father, Brady Blade Sr.

Lanois' psychedelic past continues to haunt him throughout the film as the hyper-realism of the in-studio documentation is contrasted by moments of wild fantasia. The heart dedicated to verite is also hungry for the unknown. Lanois also invites us into his studio to look over his shoulder at a mix being performed live, while he explains his moves and the musical reasons for making them. He explains how he stumbled into being a record producer, naively, through his love of music.

Here Is What Is is arguably the best rock-n-roll film of 2007 with guest appearances by Garth Hudson, Brian Blade, Eno, U2, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Aaron Neville, Billy Bob Thornton and Sinead O'Connor.

A full festival schedule will be announced on August 28, 2007. For more information on how to purchase tickets please call (416) 968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM or visit

About Daniel Lanois

This first time film maker originally from Quebec is finally responding to what people have been asking him to do for thirty years, which is to show the creative process of his work in the recording studio. Mr. Lanois, one of Canada's musical exports is the recipient of ten Grammy awards and five Juno awards.

In a quiet way, he has helped to catapult the careers of many of our favourite artists to high artistic commercial places including U2: The Joshua Tree, The Unforgettable Fire, Achtung Baby, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, All That You Can't Leave Behind, Bob Dylan: Oh Mercy, Time Out of Mind, Peter Gabriel: So, Us, Birdie, Neville Brothers: Yellow Moon, Brian Eno: Apollo, Music For Films II, On Land, The Pearl, Plateaux Of Mirror, Luscious Jackson: Fever In Fever Out, Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball, Willie Nelson: Teatro, Scott Weiland: 12 Bar Blues, Slingblade (Soundtrack), Daniel Lanois: Acadie, Beauty of Wynona, Shine, Rockets, Belladonna and Robbie Robertson: Robbie Robertson.

Technology is easy to measure but heart and soul is not. Lanois has ridden the constant wave of change and finds himself right back where he started embracing passion and people. What drives people is what interests Lanois; he doesn't like to talk about it because it might then disappear.

Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (416) 870-8000 or online at beginning Tuesday August 28 at 10 a.m. Tickets will also be available at the door on show day only (subject to availability).

By Social Decoder,, Monday, August 27, 2007

Youssou N'Dour, musicien surdoué et militant

Elégant, affable, efficace, le chanteur sénégalais Youssou N'Dour, 48 ans, figure au palmarès des cent personnalités les plus influentes de la planète publié chaque printemps par le Time Magazine. "J'ai vu Youssou être l'objet d'une attente croissante et devenir sans effort un leader africain de premier plan. Il a imaginé avant tout le monde de lancer des campagnes pour l'élargissement des nouvelles technologies, il s'est engagé dans un combat contre le paludisme, a milité à l'Unicef. Il est pour moi une source d'inspiration, pas seulement comme artiste, mais comme individu", écrivait le chanteur Peter Gabriel pour présenter dans l'hebdomadaire américain du 14 mai celui qu'il découvrit à Dakar en 1984. Youssou N'Dour, qui a commencé sa carrière musicale à l'âge de 14 ans, y était déjà célèbre et adulé.

Youssou N'Dour, musulman de confrérie mouride, est un chanteur populaire, un gamin à la voix d'or né dans la médina de Dakar, il gère des affaires et s'implique dans l'humanitaire, mais pas seulement. De timide et introverti qu'il était en dehors de la scène à ses débuts, il est aujourd'hui devenu le porte-parole d'une Afrique urbaine et économiquement consciente.

Ainsi, début juin, il était au G8 d'Heiligendamm, près de Rostock, en Allemagne, avec ses amis Bono (chanteur de U2) et Richard Branson (fondateur de Virgin). Du voyage également, Sir Bob Geldof, promoteur du Live Aid en 1985 contre la famine en Ethiopie, puis du "Live 8" en 2005, série de shows télévisés planétaires montés pour exiger des puissants l'abolition de la dette des pays les plus pauvres. Youssou N'Dour avait alors été le seul chanteur africain à figurer dans les concerts "nobles" de Paris ou de Londres.

Les présidents présents à Rostock, dont Nicolas Sarkozy pour la France, n'ont pas manqué de se laisser photographier aux côtés de ces stars du show-biz, une aristocratie à laquelle, bizarrement, Youssou N'Dour appartient. "You", en effet, vit, travaille à Dakar. Il aurait pu toute sa vie vendre un nombre de disques proportionnel à la connaissance mondiale du wolof.

Mais le musicien surdoué a su décupler ses forces de vente par un incontestable talent, et par un gracieux système d'alliances : duo de charme avec Neneh Cherry (7 Seconds, standard absolu), appui confraternel du cinéaste américain Spike Lee, puis flirts avec la musique arabe, notamment dans Egypt, hymne à l'islam tolérant enregistré au Caire, et récompensé en 2005 par un Grammy Award américain, malgré le choc irakien, alors que, en 2003, il avait annulé sa tournée américaine en signe de protestation. Le voici acteur, rejouant la tragédie de la traite négrière dans le rôle de l'esclave-poète Olaudah Equiano pour Amazing Grace, du Britannique Michael Apted, à sortir prochainement.

Nouvelle cause : le Darfour. Le 6 juillet, en ouverture du festival de jazz de Montreux, il organise une marche en bordure du lac Léman, au côté du rapporteur spécial de l'ONU Jean Ziegler. "Pourquoi Montreux ?", lui demanda la plate-forme d'informations suisse Swissinfo. "Pour moi, le contraste entre Montreux - avec ses belles voitures et ses gens arborant des airs de fête - et le Darfour, avec 200 000 morts et plus de 2 millions de réfugiés, montre que ce monde est déséquilibré. C'est choquant, c'est vrai, mais cela pousse surtout à réfléchir. Le Darfour pose un problème à la fois ethnique, religieux et politique, qui a trait au terrorisme et à l'islam." Je veux, nous disait-il en juin à Paris, emmener au Darfour des artistes et des intellectuels africains.

La rumeur voudrait que Youssou N'Dour soit mûr pour entrer en politique : il serait candidat à la députation, à la mairie de Dakar, à la présidence de la République du Sénégal, à celle de l'Union africaine... Mais, invité en mai à la grande "party" qui réunissait les cent personnalités de l'année retenues par Time Magazine, il en revient sceptique, chamboulé et gêné : "On a l'impression que, dans ces milieux-là, on peut décider du sort du monde."

A Dakar, pourtant, la polémique va bon train : sous le baobab Youssou, aucune herbe ne repousserait. Il serait l'ami des présidents, intime d'Abdou Diouf, puis d'Abdoulaye Wade, toujours du côté du manche. Youssou N'Dour possède un studio d'enregistrement, Xippi, un label de disques, Jojoli, une boîte de nuit, le Thiossane, deux fondations humanitaires. Il a créé Joko, un réseau d'accès à Internet pour les plus démunis. Il possède une radio, Radio Futur Medias, un journal, L'Observateur (60 000 exemplaires par jour), regroupés au sein du groupe Futur Medias, qui emploie 104 personnes. Il a des projets de télévision, parce que "les Africains doivent créer leurs médias".

Son récent divorce à l'amiable d'avec sa première femme, Mamy Camara, a alimenté les gazettes, autant que le procès en diffamation que lui a intenté Karim Wade, le fils du président, après la révélation, dans L'Observateur, d'un trafic de devises de plusieurs millions de dollars l'impliquant. Youssou N'Dour avait soutenu sans réserve ses journalistes. "Les médias, c'est difficile, commente le directeur de la publication, on dit toujours : c'est Youssou qui dit que... Mais non, je découvre le journal chaque matin, c'est un challenge."

Ce patron de presse inhabituel insiste : "Les Africains ne sont pas forcément bien informés. En 1985, quand je demandais à ma mère ce qu'était l'apartheid, elle ne savait pas. Alors, j'ai écrit la chanson Nelson Mandela. Aujourd'hui, j'ai des amis qui me demandent qui est le président du Darfour ! Nous devons obtenir de vraies informations et les mettre en commun avec les peuples du continent." Dès 1985 (pour exiger la libération de Mandela), les concerts ont été la première arme de ce père de sept enfants. Au printemps 2005, avec l'organisation internationale Roll Back Malaria (RBM), il organise l'Africa Live à Dakar, contre le paludisme, avec, en octobre, retrouvailles à Genève pour le 60e anniversaire des Nations unies avec Peter Gabriel, Tiken Jah Fakoli, Stephan Eicher, Gilberto Gil et Kofi Annan.

"Il fallait prendre cette maladie au sérieux. En pleine crise de paludisme, les Sénégalais disaient, avec une grande légèreté : je suis un peu "sibirou". Aujourd'hui, le discours a changé. On sait qu'il y a près de 3 millions de morts du paludisme par an. Je m'étais fixé un seuil de 3 milliards de dollars pour lutter contre cette maladie et notamment acheter des moustiquaires." Il dit avoir réuni 1,4 milliard.

Véronique Mortaigne LE MONDE 27.08.07

26 août 2007

Music, His Dargah

A decade after his death, the qawwal's fame is conquering continents ...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sang these lines for A.R. Rahman’s album, Vande Mataram, dedicated to India in its 50th year of Independence. But all the outpourings of love from millions of fans worldwide couldn’t heal the legendary qawwal’s own terminally ill body. Ten years ago, as India celebrated its golden jubilee, 48-year-old Nusrat battled for his life in a London hospital. He lost the battle on August 16, one day after India’s Independence day, and two days after his native Pakistan’s.

However, death has only strengthened the intoxicating power of Nusrat’s music. A decade after he passed away, he is the subcontinent’s most internationally famous singer, with a huge fan following and a long chain of imitators. He is in the Guinness Book of Records for having recorded a staggering 125 albums. And, according to the US National Public Radio website, he has sold more albums than Elvis Presley. The singer’s legacy lives on through his nephews Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rizwan and Muazzam (following in Nusrat’s footsteps, the latter two have collaborated with British musician Peter Gabriel), and his students Salman Ahmad and Naeem Abbas Rufi. Salman went on to found the popular Pakistani rock group, Junoon. Indian Sufi singers Kailash Kher, Hans Raj Hans and Rabbi Shergill all claim Nusrat as their inspiration. Kailash, who is sometimes dubbed Chhota Nusrat, has been approached to sing with Eddie Vedder at a tribute concert for Nusrat.

The currency of Sufi music—partly a felt thing,and partly fashion—and Bollywood’s recent fondness for qawwalis, seen in Maqbool, Haasil, Corporate and Pyar Ke Side Effects, can also be traced back to Nusrat’s magic. India first got to know him by proxy when Bollywood made cheesy rip-offs—his Dam Mast Mast for Tu cheez badi hai mast, and then Mere Piya Ghar Aaye. Recalls Hans: "Ustadji was happy even when he was being plagiarised. He used to say that this means the message is spreading." It is not just the subcontinent where the qawaal is fondly remembered—or even appropriated. Nusrat, who toured the world during his lifetime, continues to be reinvented in the West as well. On the 10th anniversary of his death, there are heartwarming tributes for him from unlikely quarters—for example Gaudi, the famous London-based dub and reggae artist; and the Brooklyn Qawwali Party in New York, a group formed by percussionist Brook Martinez in 2004.

"I’ve been hooked to Nusrat’s music since the 1980s," Gaudi told Outlook. "Many UK fans of Nusrat and of qawwali don’t speak or understand the language of his lyrics. Yet they are moved—by the sheer power and range of his voice." In a just-released album called Dub Qawwali, Gaudi has mixed Khan’s vocals from the early ’70s—tracks that have rarely been heard before—with Jamaican dub beats. The title track, Baithe Baithe Kaise Kaise Rog Lagaye, is scintillating. Martinez’s Brooklyn Qawwali Party comprises jazz musicians who play Nusrat’s music on saxophone, trombone and trumpets. Their music grabs you with its beautiful interplay of instruments. As Martinez recalled in an interview with Outlook, Nusrat himself used to say that his music was very close to jazz, in the sense that it was based on improvisation.

Indeed, improvisation was one of Nusrat’s greatest strengths, and one of the reasons why his music lives on. He was rooted in tradition but always ready to extend its boundaries. As Junoon’s Salman Ahmed told Outlook, "He inspired me to see with the heart and think beyond borders...." Nusrat’s first innovation was to dramatically reinforce the Hindustani classical element in the often rough-and-ready aesthetics of qawwali. During his concerts, audiences would join in as he and his group began the customary chanting. But then, the singer would first baffle them and later send them into a trance by breaking off into a sargam interlude at a breathtakingly fast tempo.

Nusrat sang the poetry of Khusro, Bulle Shah and Iqbal, but always added his own touches. He would sing in Persian, Urdu, Punjabi and Awadhi in the same song. His voice would rise to a crescendo, the movements of his hands matching the beats. He was like a man possessed when singing. Dildar Hussain, who played the tabla in his group, remembers Nusrat’s total immersion in his music by describing his performance at Rishi Kapoor’s wedding in 1979. "We started at ten in the night," he recalls, "and finished at seven in the morning. He sang Halka Halka Suroor for two-and-a-half hours at a stretch." Hussain recalls another night in Colchester, England, in the early ’80s, when they were slated to perform for half an hour and went on, on popular demand, for six hours. "It was cold, it was raining, but all the white people—entranced—wanted him to go on," he said.

did not just bring the qawwali out of the dargah and put it on the world map, he also opened it up to Western influences by collaborating with musicians like Gabriel, Michael Brook and Vedder. However, his openness also earned him flak. In his ’98 film, Nusrat Has Left The Building...But When? (the title echoes the phrase "Elvis has left the building", always announced after an Elvis show), Pakistani filmmaker Farjad Nabi implies Nusrat’s talent had got diluted towards the end. Says Farjad: "Nusrat had been singing for decades before Peter Gabriel discovered him. The sudden recognition and money must have affected him. I felt deeply disappointed at the change."

It isn’t hard to see why the purists prefer the simple arrangement of harmoniums and tablas dominated by Nusrat’s indomitable lung power over his singing along with the techno instruments of the West. Yet, when you hear the jazz musicians, Senegalese jembe and the dub beats jamming with his voice, you also know he wasn’t just a musician but a veritable ambassador of love and music. Nusrat has not yet left the building.

Amit Ranjan on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan