Kavita Seth is famous for her song “Iktara” from the movie Wake Up Sid. She has taken up more Bollywood projects since then – her voice also features on songs for the films Raajneeti, I Am and an upcoming Karan Johar film. However, Seth will focus on Sufi compositions based on ragas like Khamaj, Pahadi and Yaman at this fortnight’s concert organised by Bhavan’s Cultural Centre.
Although Seth has trained in raga-based classical music under Vinod Maudgalya from Delhi, she specialised in Sufi music because she has always had a deep affection for the spiritual content of Sufi lyrics. “The entire music as well as the philosophy on which it is founded sends me into a trance,” she said. “The more I seek to explore, the deeper I get drawn into it.” She compared the performance of Sufi music to the work of a sculptor. “A good sculptor is never satisfied with his work, he keeps on chiselling finer edges,” she said. “That is what happens to me.”
Seth is especially attracted to the work and philosophy of the Sufi musician Hazrat Amir Khusro, who she believes is her spiritual leader, or rehnuma. A rehnuma is a spiritual guide who shows the way to bliss. Under the guidance of a rehnuma, musicians present in a song a treasure of poems that articulate and evoke a gamut of mystical experiences. “Sama bandhna” (building a bridge or creating a spiritual atmosphere) is a term often heard in this context. Through the act of listening, sama, the Sufi seeks to activate his link with his living spiritual guide, with departed saints and ultimately with god.
Seth will sing a few of Rumi’s compositions in this programme. She will also present verses of the saint poet Bulle Shah.
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar on July 21 2011 6.30pm