Qais Essar

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6 Nov
Melbourne Recital Centre

Event Description

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Qais Essar – Worlds within Worlds

A sonic time portal from the ancient Hindu Kush to the modern era.

A master of the rabab, Qais Essar is a critically acclaimed contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist, and producer who channels his melodic designs through the lute-like instrument of Afghanistan. With a musical output as unique as it is diverse, Qais delves deep into the world of Indian and Afghan folk and classical music. From composing for Oscar-nominated films such as The Breadwinner, to captivating audiences at SXSW and The Kennedy Centre, he draws upon a vast range of influences spanning film and chamber music, American folk, and contemporary rock. Making his debut performance in this intimate Salon experience, witness ‘timeless, spellbinding music that wraps itself around you, and won’t let go’ (Sydney Morning Herald).

In Afghanistan, music faces an existential threat, leading to a decreed ban on music performance and musicians encountering life-threatening violence and condemnation. Qais Essar’s creative voice stands as more important and relevant than ever. Drawing from the rich folk and classical traditions of India and Afghanistan, hear expansive, emotional, and thought-provoking works by one of the most profound rabab performers in the world.

Special Guests

Accompanying Qais Essar is Pranav Ramji, a Melbourne-based Tabla player whose rhythmic journey commenced at the tender age of 8 under the guidance of Ustad Gulfam Sabri and Ustad Sarwar Sabri. Delving into the intricate nuances of this ancient percussion instrument, Pranav found his passion and purpose.

Immersed in the rich heritage of the Punjab Gharana, Pranav continues to refine his artistry under the mentorship of Pt. Aditya Kalyanpur, a distinguished disciple of Ustad Alla Rakha and the revered multiple Grammy winner Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Praise for Qais Essar

‘A master of the rabab.’ – NY Daily News

‘Always adventurous and thoughtful, Essar and cohorts respect tradition while maximising its currency.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Qais Essar has built a sublime house of sound.’ – Scene Noise

‘This is timeless, spellbinding music that wraps itself around you, and won’t let go.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

Caring for Our Community

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. A range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures are currently in place. Click here to learn more.

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