Amritsar, February 19
Featuring Guru Nanak’s journey across the subcontinent, into the unknown, in a musical series based on Amardeep Singh’s acclaimed documentary series “Allegory: A Tapestry of Gurur Nanak’s travels”, Majha House invited the author with three musical artists in a virtual concert.
Preeti Gill, founder of Majha House, said the series was a fascinating account of the long journeys undertaken by Guru Nanak which took him across borders to different countries. She featured Vininder Kaur, who composed the music for the series, along with Satninder Singh and Pakistani artist Saleema Khawaja.
Sharing his experience composing music for the series, Vaninder said, “When Guru Nanak traveled with Bhai Mardana, they only had ‘rabab’ with him. Anything composed or sung was only sung with the accompaniment of the rabab. Saleema’s voice is ideal for singing with a single stringed instrument and Satninder Singh’s voice is accompanied by sarangi and he sang for Guru Nanak. She shared that Guru Nanak strived to uplift the lower castes and preached the message of equality and brotherhood among the masses.
“Satninder Singh introduced us to his guru BS Narang and we roped him in. Where we have the bhakts singing the verses, all three sing. So those are the three pillars of our music. Our three singers happen to come of different religions, which kind of reflects Guru Nanak’s message of inclusion,” she shared.
Talking about the music of the series, Saleema Khwaja who comes from a family of renowned classical singers and is the daughter of Bina Jawwad, said it was a huge honor and responsibility to be asked to sing for the series. , because a thorough knowledge of classical music is a must to sing the verses of Guru Nanak. “Satninder and I know classical music well. Singing Guru Nanak’s verses was an experience of self-discovery. But I had to learn Gurmukhi and diction in order to do the verses justice,” she said. Saleema is a member of the group called Harsakhiyan and is well versed in rababi traditions.
Speaking of the epiphanies associated with such projects, Satninder said he had one. “I was on a lonely walk when suddenly the raag for the moolmatra came to me. I rushed home and together with my aunt recorded it. It was just perfect. She said we should try again but after that recording I couldn’t sing anymore. It was an amazing experience,” he shared.
Meanwhile, Amardeep, director of the document series, lamented that the travels of Guru Nanaks are not part of the history taught in schools. “Alexander’s achievement was bloodshed and slaughter as Guru Nanak spread the message of love, peace and brotherhood,” Amardeep said.