Mushtari: A Live Concert
My very first Ghazal/Tabla album, “Mushtari-a live concert” is a tribute to my late teacher of Ghazal, Mushtari Begum. This was a live concert of Ghazal and was quite challenging for me because this was a one shot recording in front of a live audience of about 70 ghazal listeners at the Gary Sill Studios in Vancouver, BC, which meant I really had to do my best to minimize any mistakes! I chose an old piece of poetry written by Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, a Ghazal in Raga Des composed by Mushtari Begum and myself, and a ghazal in Raga Darbari sung by Begum Akhtar which my late guruji Mushtari Begum used to sing. Amika played the Harmonium with an amazing and melodious sensitivity and her sister Lavika was stellar on the Taanmandal. The greatest challenge was that no such recording with a Ghazal singer was ever done with a tabla played simultaneously by the Ghazal singer! As this was my first ever ghazal recording, I was very nervous as I had to be as perfect as possible in my singing and Tabla playing as there was no chance of correcting any mistakes. We had a lot of challenges with sound, and at the end of it all, our album received a nomination by the Western Canadian Music awards in the World Album of the Year category in 2011. That was a very humbling moment!