East and west harmonize as one in ‘Shurtidaan’

Shurtidaan, a fusion of the western Guitar and and the eastern Sarod is being hailed as Pakistan’s first original musical instrument created in the past 40 years.

ARY News briefly interviewed the ‘inventor’ of the instrument, Masood Alam and inquired about the process and initial idea of the instrument and the thought that went into it’s construction.

Masood, a music producer for the past 6 years and a film graduate has staked a bold claim stating that this has been a one of a kind innovation in the past 30-40 year history of subcontinental music.

“I do not belong to a musical family but I am inspired by music and I like to think that nature has blessed me with the ‘gift of music’, most of the people in my family are engineers,” said the creator of Shurtidaan.

“A friend of mine, Waseem Abbas who can also be seen in the video playing the instrument, basically a guitarist by profession used to nag me about the limitations a western acoustic guitar had due to the fret board and the sounds it produced, they were not as pronounced as those in the eastern classical instruments,” revealed Masood.

Abbas also gives a very heartwarming demonstration of the instrument towards the second half of a “>video showing the instrument in all it’s glory. He is seen playing a medley of Qasida burda shareef, and Yeh sab tumhara karam hai aaqa and it’s an enchanting spell of otherworldly grace that helps shape the atmosphere.

Masood diligently worked towards a solution to this conundrum and googled various fret-less guitars that may perhaps give them a little more freedom to play with.

“My search for the perfect instrument remained futile, so I took the onus upon myself to create a new one, I studied sound, resonance and all the nitty-gritty involved in making a new instrument from scratch.”

“Something that sounded smooth, was effortless and easy to play but also looked presentable,” added the inventor.

After laying out the blue print of the instrument and completing the research, Masood headed over to Mr, Zafar in National School of Performing arts (Napa) who at first rejected the idea and was opposed to it, citing that, “it would not sound the way we intended it to sound,” but, “I insisted that he craft the instrument and we will then see how it sounds after it has been crafted,” Masood continued.

“I was bearing the expenses and was willing to experiment, I was not bothered about success or failure, I wanted to create something new and innovative.”

In closing Masood said, that he considers the instrument to be the “Pride of Pakistan” although he sounded a little distraught with regards to lack of approval and mass appeal that Pakistan blesses it’s artists with.

“We are neglected, then we go and perform in another country and suddenly their is a clout about us and we are recognized overnight, our skills are acknowledged, this is very disheartening and unfortunate. I would urge our people to respect and appreciate their own arts and artists for their talent, hard work and dedication to the craft.”





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