Sadi has written a wonderful post here – I am cross posting it here.
Couple of nights back (24, April, 08) came an unanticipated opportunity to watch and listen to two of great contemporary pakistani sufi Qawwali singers at famous UCLA Royce Hall. The concert was titled, Qawwali Music of Pakistan: Sufi devotional music.Among the audience was both americans and sub-continental audience. What was striking, is Qawwali’s ability to transcend language with its sheer power and captivating devotion. The nature of improvisation makes each Qawwali, even if its sung by the same group of singers, very unique and every new listening is a new experience.Sometime the depth of the verses, fused with the presentation takes audience to an otherly high which was felt last night too. At times there were goosebumps and surges with the strong emotion that is created in Qawwali performance. The Sufi Qawwalis are considered as zikr or Divine remembrance if listened with spiritual understanding and depth.:: What is Sufi Qawwali? | Qawwali is derived from the Arabic word qaul, literally meaning “saying” but has taken on the meaning of “belief”or “credo” in South Asian languages. Qawwali is spiritual in essence; it is the devotional music of the Sufis to attain trance and mystical experience – originating in the 10th century and blossoming into its present form from the 13th century onwards. […]