God Is Not A Terrorist

GB 067CD GB 067CD

Ustad Saami's God Is Not A Terrorist is hypnotic, unvarnished recordings by one of Pakistan's most revered and iconic classical singers. The roots of Saami's music go back to the 13th century, but its message is contemporary and universal: "to sing is to listen." Produced by Grammy Award winner Ian Brennan, God Is Not A Terrorist is volume five of Glitterbeat's acclaimed Hidden Musics series. "75-year-old Ustad Saami risks his life daily in Pakistan to keep alive his microtonal, pre-Islamic, multilingual (Farsi, Sanskrit, Hindi, the ancient language of Vedic, gibberish, Arabic, and Urdu) music. Handed down by his ancestors for over a thousand years, he is the only practitioner of Surti left in the world; when he passes, this music will die with him. Extremists resent his work as they do anything else pre-dating Muhammad. In the land where Osama Bin last hid, Master Ustad Naseeruddin Saami has spent his entire life mastering the nuances of every given note. It has been said that India always had a region where all of the greatest singers came from; that place is Pakistan. "To sing is to listen." These are the words of the master. The translation of his last name, Saami, even means "to hear." For him, everything centers on one note. From that, all else grows and music is seen as a sixth sense for people to better communicate with each other. With great precision, Saami utilizes 49 notes versus the West's mere seven. The scale was founded by a mix-raced royal whose lifelong endeavor was to make peace with duality through art. This predecessor of qawwali music is called khayál, the Arabic word for "imagination"; in it the melody carries the meaning. The lyrics are almost incidental during these call-and-responses. It is the uneven pitches that the master values as being the most searching; those with even numbers are too stable. The master shapes the notes with his hands as he sings like conducting a Theremin. Most masters now hide their knowledge, possessively passing their skills down through family only. Subsequently, traditions have died and withered. Master Saami's mission is to share his knowledge with the world, so that the music may live on freely." --Ian Brennan. LP version on 180 gram vinyl, includes download.