Coke Studio to feature Kashmiri song by band ‘Qasamir’ in its Explorer Series

Coke Studio Pakistan, famous in its country and afar will feature a Kashmiri song, “Ha Gulo Tohi Ma Sa Wuchwan Yaar Meon”, written by Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, one of the famous poets of Kashmir. The song will be sung by Muzaffarabad-based Kashmiri artist Muhammad Altaf Mir.

Mir leads a band called ‘Qasamir’. He has been associated with Radio Pakistan as a broadcaster for several years. He is currently a master craftsmen of Kashmiri crafts.

The band will perform where Mir will be the main vocalist, Ghulam Muhammad Dar will play the Sarangi, the traditional Tumbaknari will be played by Saifuddin Shah and the Garha will be played by Manzoor Ahmad Khan.

Earlier, on July 3, Coke Studio Pakistan launched its new module, ‘Coke Studio Explorer’,  produced by Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza, which delves in the narration of stories and the establishment of the Pakistan identity. The series will feature five sets of musicians from different regions.

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“Qasmir, a band of four musicians from Kashmir, performs surreal songs dealing with love, beauty and harmony. A lot of people talk about their love for Kashmir and its cause but few have heard the language of the region. The programme will change that in its own small way. We have tried to capture the true essence of the language by recording the poetry of famed Kashmiri poet Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor. We are confident that people will love the sound of the Kashmiri song,” Ali Hamza stated to a pakistan-based newspaper.

The selection of musicians came from establishing certain criteria.

“The musicians had to be relatively unknown. They had to represent a unique aspect of the culture, history and spirit of Pakistan. And, they had to be talented. The selections were made in the field – in a natural, freewheeling and largely unrestrained manner – using the criteria that had been established in the beginning,” the producers said.

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“The search for musicians was both extensive and expansive. It covered the remote mountains of Kalash, the scenic valley of Muzaffarabad, the vast landscape of Baluchistan, and the deserts of Sindh, not to mention the infinite virtual terrain of the internet. A lot of time, effort and energy went into the search, which was, fortunately, both productive and rewarding. We are very pleased with the results,” they added.

While talking about Kashmir, the duo praised the people and the beauty of the valley, saying they ‘loved meeting people from remote areas of Pakistan and hearing their stories’.

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