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Tahir Qawwal


Sufi Singer

Originally from a small town in Nova-Scotia Canada, Tahir Hussain Faridi Qawwal has been journeying into music and mysticism within the Indian subcontinent from a very young age. At fifteen he was taken in by the great tabla maestro Harjeet Seyan Singh, and under his noble tutelage initiated into the profound subject of Indian rhythm cycles. Several years of rigorous tabla instruction later, Tahir became completely enchanted by his teachers singing voice.Tahir’s late teens were mostly spent wandering in the Gharwal Himalayas living as a lonely dervish, practicing the yogic path and searching for sur with a shruti box in hand.’Sur’ is at the heart of all Indian/Pakistani classical music and when translated to English means ‘purity of sound and pitch’. Because of the wide tonal spectrum of classical Indian raaga notation, the profound journey into sur requires the grace of a guru. Tahir Qawwal’s first knowledge of sur came by the kindness of Pandit Sanjeev Jha of Varanasi.Throughout his early tutelage of raaga, Tahir also immersed himself in the sacred sufi writings of Data Ganj-e-Buksh, Hazrat Amir Khusrau, Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Ganj-e-Shakar, Shah Hussain, Khaja Ghulam Farid and others. Because of these spiritual inspirations and his shahadat (initiation) into Tasawwuf (Sufism) by Sheikh Liben, Tahir’s path in music was quickly directed towards qawwali. Qawwali is the perfect marriage of classical raag & divine sufi passion.Tahir’s first formal training in the qawwali genre began in Ajmer Sharif where he and his musical companion Aminah Chishty enjoyed an extended stay at this important Indian sufi shrine. Under the wise hospitality of Ajmer’s great qawwal’s and sufi’s, dozens of the qawwali songs Tahir had transcribed up to this point were finally translated with a deeper clarity.

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