Fans and music lovers are observing the 21st death anniversary of Pakistan’s iconic qawaal and singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Thursday. The music maestro passed away on August 16, 1997, due to liver and kidney problems.
Khan became an international music sensation in the 1980s and 1990s especially after he collaborated with renowned musicians including Peter Gabriel, Michael Brook and Eddie Vedder. Although he was famous for his qawalis, ghazals and film music but as a trained classical singer, he was a treat for the ears in Raags and Alaaps.
On his 21st death anniversary, we remember some of the best raag and alaap performances by the legendary Nusrat.
1. Raag Bilawal/Bilaval
This raags appears in Sikh Traditions and is part of Sikh holy scripture (Granth).
2. Raag Ahir Bharant
Ahir Bhairav is a Hindustani classical raga. The rare recording from 1987 features a mixture of Bhairav and the ancient but now rare raga Ahiri or Abhiri, or perhaps a mixture of Bhairav and Kafi.
3. Raag Bahadur Kauns
This raag, though very soothing, was not very popular among the singers and very few sang this. This raag was originally created by Pandit Ravi Shankar as a homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
4. Tann Mann Tum Per Waron
Recorded during his 1983 UK tour, Nusrat is performing this in classical raag style in a private mehfil.
5. The Sound of Silence
Possibly one of the most famous alaaps by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Sound of Silence is one of the most soothing yet tragic-sense pieces of music.
This alaap was performed in collaboration with Peter Gabriel.
7. This video shows the qawali sensation lost in his music showing how much he loved his profession and qawalis.