The second and last day of the Lahore Music Meet at Alhamra Arts Council, witnessed a considerable increase in turnout. The two-day festival brought together musical minds from across Pakistan for a celebration and critique of music. The halls were mostly half-filled and the public preferred to listen to live music except few sessions.
The outdoor showcase featured a diversity of artistes who encapsulated various musical spectrums of Pakistan. These included the performance of Bayaan, the band. Besides Bushra Marzi and Baryaan, Sameen Qasim, Shorbanoor and Kashmir enthralled the audience with their performances. Folk singer Saeen Zahoor, in session ‘Khas Gal Bat’ shared his journey of music. Moderated by Waqar Jappa, the chitchat with Saeen went informal.
With his black turban, deep set Kohl eye, ringed fingers and three-stringed Ektara lute Saeen Zahoor stole the show with his performance. He started his session with his hit song ‘Allah Hu’ which received a standing ovation from the audience.
About his career in music, he said, “I started singing at the age of five, and from that early age, I had dreamt of a hand beckoning towards a shrine. I left home at the age of ten, roaming the Sufi shrines of Sindh, Punjab, making a living through singing. I was walking through the shrine of Uch Sharif, when someone waved at me with his hand and suddenly I realized that it was this hand that I saw in my dream. In 1989, I performed for the first time at All Pakistan Music Conference that brought me into musical prominence,” he said.
About his musical education, Saeen said that for some time, I studied music under Rauka Ali of Patiala Gharana, whom I met at Bulleh Shah’s shrine and he became my first teacher for Sufi verses. With the passage of time I studied music with other Uch Sharif-based musicians.
“What I wear is just dress of darvesh who doesn’t care about the world except for his Saeen.Popularity and music ventures haven’t changed me. My fellow musicians and I still pour heart and soul into our work and seek no rewards,” he explained.
About his international experience, Saeen said, “When I was offered to perform an English song, I told that lady I am illiterate; how can I sing in English? However, I requested one of my colleagues to translate it for me so that I can sing it. I sung the track in my own Punjabi style and it was appreciated by people across the globe,” he maintained.