Abida Parveen is often compared to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for the dazzling quality of her voice and her vivd musical imagination allied to her utterly feminine sensibility, all used to tell the Beloved, the states that his love makes us endure.
A real cult is now devoted to Abida, proof indeed of the way this immense artist gives herself over entirely to her public in her music; so long as they demand it, she is ready to go on giving the best of her gifts to serve the kalam (the Word) of the Sufi saints. Sometimes she will linger on a low note, sometimes she’ll rise to dizzy heights with vocal ornaments of dazzling virtuosity; she seems to be in a state of ecstatic communion with her audience, inspired by an energy coming directly from Him whose praises she sings.
Poems from Hind and Sind
This mystic poetry developed largely in the austerely beautiful countryside bordering the shrine route in the area known in ancient times as the Hind and the Sind that follows the modern-day border between India and Pakistan.
At first these poems did not exist in written form. They were collected much later after the death of the saints and then transmitted orally from one generation to another. This explains how one singer’s version will differ from another; it has also given the bards a certain freedom of expression when weaving their tale. For example, if a singer wants to develop the theme of firaq (seperation), after a poem by Khawaja Ghulam Farid, he might find the needs to insert the verses of another poet into his own in order to underline he emotion he arouses. This is known as girah (literally « a knot », such as one finds in carpets).
CD - 2002
World Village - harmonia mundi