The Cork Board, World Music

Music to lift your soul

The Election Bit

It feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since the beginning of October and still it goes on. The sky weeps for the state of the UK. I could say that words fail me,but they don’t. I am angry but measured. Those of us on the left are being encouraged to engage with the right to try to understand and open up dialogue for a better UK and to bridge the divide that we have in our tiny island. That’s fine. I agree. So long as I can start the debate. I want to hear justification for closing 800 libraries in 8 years – for cutting education so that some schools have to close early – for creating such poverty that we now have more food banks than McDonalds – for cutting council funding so that social care for the elderly has driven some councils to the edge of bankruptcy – for treating the victims of Grenfell with such disdain – for the “Bedroom Tax”, a tax that specifically targets some of the poorest people in our communities. And so on.

I’ll make myself comfortable. Go on.

The Best Bit

But to more fun things. My loyal reader will know that I am a big fan of Coke Studio Pakistan, well, under the guidance of Rohail Hyatt anyway. As a producer he is a cut above the rest. Creative – a thinker – and always looking to push the boundaries a little to see what can be found. So along with several million other CS Rohail Hyatt fans I waited patiently for his return to CS after an ignominious exit during Season 6. Word was that he would be back in the driving seat for Season 12. 


So Season 12 has come and gone and it has been a joy. The superb house band stayed the same throughout the run with only the vocalists changing to deliver particular songs ranging from devotional arrangements to straight ahead pop. Listening to the whole series as a playlist there is clearly a developed homogeneous style to this season springing from the continuity of the house band personnel. Just what us Hyatt fans were hoping. The arrangements have depth and colour and there is always something to learn from the song choice.

The pulse changes are there too. A rhythmic tool that I have come to associate with Hyatt’s work. Who, as much as being a music producer, is a thinker too. So, here are just three of my favourites which I hope will whet your appetite for more. And isn’t Kamran “Mannu” Zafar such a great bass player.

“Roshe” – a Kashmiri song of loss. This is just a lovely song guided along by Mannu’s perfectly coloured bass flourishes.

“Dam Mastam” – written in raag Bhimpalasi. See, you can learn a lot from watching Coke Studio. I love the rapid fire skat of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Can someone tell me what the style of singing is called? Would appreciate it.

… and then this one, “Bo Giyam”, in Burushaski and Urdu, bemoaning unrequited love.

I love it. New sounds from new languages, new inflections, new melodies. If you like it please  check the CS youtube channel and seek out more.

After leaving Season 6 Hyatt more or less disappeared from the scene. Even Google couldn’t track him down. I hope he stays above the surface this time and takes us on more musical explorations. Thank you, Rohail, for bringing us CS12.

2 thoughts on “Music to lift your soul”

  1. With few internet options, I refresh the ’email notifications’ on the inbox and then read off line at home. Your frustrations with the changed did not surprise me – the entire world seems to be veering out of control, but I stopped reading here: “I want to hear justification for closing 800 libraries in 8 years “– and just marveled in what I might describe as shock – how anyone with half a brain would think that closing libraries is good for our future.

    I don’t think that Superman is going to careen from above and put things back in order, yet we have to have hope that good prevails… my instincts tell me that the future has some big problems and we’d best buckle our seats.

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for dropping by. Certainly here in the UK there has been a jaw dropping attack on the poorest and less well off in our country. The Elites have the upper hand and will retain it for years. The knock-on effect of not educating the population might keep you in power for a long while but it’s bound to end in tears sooner or later. Ten years after Margaret Thatcher came to power the Poll Tax riots brought her down. I feel that Johnson is heading the same way. It’s hard not to be pessimistic. I have resolved to take solace in art, honestly. More art. That’s where the positive creative vibes happen. Stay well.

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