Saturday, September 27, 2014

Music makes me happy, and singing empowers me.

YOU GUYS!!! I'm going to be singing again at our Middle Eastern ensemble this semester again, inshaAllah!! BIG, BIG GRINS!! hamdallah.

Remember last semester, I wrote about how I was singing a couple of Pashto songs for our ensemble? Do recall that I'm no singer at all, and I don't claim to be one - but I do love singing. I also think of myself as a shy person generally, and I hate being the center of attention, but there's something about holding a mic, speaking and singing into it a song that's close to your heart because it's all about female empowerment, women's rights, female education, female leadership, the celebration of girls and daughters and girlhood. That's also originally sung by your favorite female Pashto singer and picturized by someone you love, respect, and look up to (Samar Minallah). And also a song that the ensemble finds a lot of fun to play and listen to, one that everyone else just LOVES because of how happy-happy it is and how beautifully it's composed.

So here's what happened. I knew that I'd be joining the ensemble again this semester just because it makes me so, so happy watching music being created in front of my eyes. You learn to respect and appreciate musicians more after seeing what hard work is put into creating just one piece - and the pieces we perform aren't even ours originally; they're simply re-done through us! Can you imagine how much more work is put into actually creating it all originally as well? MashaAllah on them. 

Our theme this semester is Revolution. We were asked to bring in pieces with a revolutionary spirit, whether revolutionary in the political sense or social or other. I thought to myself that if I were going to sing again, I'd this time try this beautiful Urdu song by that revolutionary Pakistani band called Laal. One of my favorite songs of theirs, that's all about a social revolution and dreaming of a better tomorrow, is called Umeed-e-Sahar. Listen to this song and tell me it doesn't make you smile. It may also make you cry because of its beautiful message. The music video is powerful and moving. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song! It's all about the power of the people, and that message is always powerful.

If you're in Pakistan and stinking Pakistan still has Youtube banned, here's a link to the song.

But as much as I love Urdu and this song, I felt like I was betraying my own people (the BASHTUNZ) because I know that we have plenty of our own powerful songs, and I still think word about our existence (becuz we rock like that, ai) still needs to be more out there, hah. So I asked for suggestions on FB for potential songs to sing, and I got some great suggestions from everyone, but I then decided I wasn't going to have the time to commit to this thing again. I am playing percussion with the ensemble, but singing a song is a huge commitment, and missing a rehearsal can be a big deal. So I'd decided not to do a song this semester.

BUT THEN!! Then I ran into our music director, and she goes, "I think you should do that lullaby song again. It's fun, it's beautiful, and it's got a revolutionary message. Revolution comes in different forms, and one of those forms is women's rights and leadership!" And she gave me this huge grin, and I'm like, "Whyyy must you do this to me... okay, all right. Let's do that song then."

So I'm doing that song again ... feel free to hear it here. Our performance will be in mid-November, inshaAllah. I know this is dreaming too big, but I'd rrrreally like to somehow get in touch with Naghma and have her come to the performance :) I'll be the happiest person in the world then!

The best part? Well, yeah, I love this song and all, but the best part is that I'm SO crazy about this song and its message that my roommate, when she heard the song and saw the translation of it and all, said, "Awww, this is so totally you! If you were a song, you'd be this song." And I melted. 

So, yeah. And such as.

The other song that I considered singing was Maa la ranra rakai ("Give me light"). But that'd take a lot of work preparing, and it'd be too much memorization when I've a lot of other commitments at the moment. InshaAllah, I'll do that another time.

k, all this to say ... God bless the human(s) who invented music. It makes me think all happy thoughts and forget all about the wrongs in this world. hamdallah for it.

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