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Sultan Ghaznawi

Afghan Music on International Arena

The colourful and sweet sound of Afghan music deserves more than just being imprisoned within the boundaries of our city and province. The talent and shine of this music has even remained hidden from Afghans themselves not to even bother about the lack of knowledge of outside world that has the least idea of this colourful rainbow.

The true picture of our unique Afghan music is shaped by incomparable beats and rhythms, different and various scales and styles, different regional languages and their derivative distinct music and tone colours, which keep renewing eternally. From the music of Logar to Dambura (long-necked, plucked bowl lute with two gut or nylon strings) of Hazarajat - from the wild Gharanai (mountain songs) of Paktia to Charbaita, Daastaan, Bagatai, Moqaam, Lobe of Mashreqi (Jalalabad) - from Qursak of Panjsher to Dutar (long-necked, plucked bowl lute) of Herat - from the groovy and Maida beats of Qataghan (northern region of Afghanistan) to the heavy beats of Dohl (large double-headed drum) of Nooristan - from Tanbur (long necked, plucked lute) of Khurasan to Rabab (short-necked, plucked lute) of Adam Khan, and from Nai Chopani (Gypsy's reed flute) of limitless deserts to Sorna (a double-reed aerophone with a conical bore) which in themselves hold a thousand and one different mosaics.

We have almost everything, all we need is to accommodate this part of our culture in our minds and start propagating it in the proper channels for further improvement and developments.

Why do Afghan music audience deviate more towards listening Indian and Western style than their own music? The fact is that despite uniqueness and value, the Afghan music is losing the time-sensitivity and the blood of an existed-alive body. It can't reach today's requirements any more while every body has been dealing with it only as an ancient and antique music being heard beyond the history. We are all witness that the world is moving and changing at a speed of light, and with this velocity humans are also in a state of constant change, along with all different aspects of life. Thus whatever is left behind from this fast convoy, would find it impossible to catch up.

Afghan artists need to open new avenues of quality and values depicting their art. They should also be sensitive to cultural changes and influences, before it's too late and they have been eliminated from competition with their regional counterparts. Some of these artists have adopted different unfriendly ways to harmonize themselves with the pace of time, which unfortunately has some serious negative effects on the genuineness of Afghan music.

In this dishevelled market, where quality has been seriously disturbed and competition in tons of different types of music is just increasing, I have undertaken to uphold and introduce the day's breeze and breath of Afghan music to the world. I am not only committed To introduce the folklore and ethnic music of Afghanistan, but also to unveil the superior and my own inventions of music, with widely acclaimed standards and qualities, and combination of regional music identities.

Worldwide Charity Tours "I am cold!"

According to a recent United Nations report more than one hundred thousand children will die as a result of hunger, lack of shelter and various health problems by the end of winter 2002 if the world community fails to fulfil its commitment of support to Afghanistan.

I, Farhad Darya, the voice of this long suffered nation, have decided to contribute all of the proceeds of my "I am Cold!" tours to Afghan children. Therefore, I have determined to visit a number of Western countries for a musical tour under the above title. I have started a very lengthy trip, which began from Cosenza, Northern Italy and travelled through other European cities to Australia, returned to United States and looking forward to wrap it up in my dear Afghanistan land.

This tour bears no political logo on it, and has no objective other than helping the long suffered Afghan children. The funds obtained from this tour will be granted to internationally recognized and renowned organization, such as UNICEF, AustCare etc.

So far I have been able to successfully complete one program in Italy, two in Germany, and two in Australia, and the total income from these programs will be transferred through the above named organizations. This journey, the helping caravan to Afghan children, continues and will take approximately 4 months to be complete.

I am sharing the food of my six-year-old son, Hejran with the hungry children of my country and would like to deliver the following message to the world through this caravan of help:

"Lets help these children without asking their name, tongue, tribe, colour, ethnicity, or the addresses of these young beings."

The Nation Without Music and the Beatless Soil…

Due to the oppression of musical arts in Afghanistan, the world community has started calling Afghanistan the nation without music, beat, and love. Recently, The Time Magazine published an article on 10.09.01 under the title of "Rhythmless Nation" written by Nadia Labi, and BBC's Farsi News Radio also broadcast a program called "Revitalizing Music in Afghanistan" on January 1st 2002. In this program, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Ali Sina unknowingly and without any thought forwarded an article highlighting "today the domain of Afghan music seems scanty and full of sorrow."

A huge part of this dilemma is a result of the deliberate ignorance and lack of interest by our intelligent, involved bodies and media organizations. The Afghan media cared less enough to expose the alert musical and hope offering Afghan entity to the general public. Although inside the country music suffered extensive suffocation, fortunately the bloody hands of these oppressors fell short to damage or sabotage this cultural tool, which developed and improved abroad.

Despite the fact that the music community has been one of the most active, effective and productive sections of our injured Afghan culture in the two last decades, it received less attention from our intellectuals and the media societies to reflect its image to the greater world.

Why this lack of admiration? Let me shed some light and emphasise on this topic:

The bright and educated class of Afghans who mostly controls media and public opinion exposure, never seriously counted Afghan music and musicians in the pages of history. From my understanding, during the past 6 years, no other face of society has been harmed as much as music and musicians, and every other subject has at least been given a spot in society, whereas music has been completely eliminated. In spite of all the calamities it faced, music proved once again that it could be on of the best hopes. No other voice louder and effective than music could be deployed in the wounded alleys of my country.

Do those hard working musicians deserve this lack of admiration and encouragement? The strange and amazing fact is that the general population has never looked at music this way. Our people have always risked their lives just to hear a song of their trusted and favoured musician. In the contrary the Afghan intellectuals have always given music less importance and concentration. This view put music in the priority of "sixth finger", which is an Afghan saying for least important.

This is outrageous! Isn't this time to adjust and fine-tune our standards along with a new life, based on honesty, consciousness, and new horizon?

The brevity is that of our intellectual, somehow knowledgeable class who didn't intend to say a word about this dilemma. Improving and spreading music has been the responsibility of those dedicated to this art. Therefore, lets agree that our educated and literate class has been less generous in respect to Afghan music and musicians.

If the Western world is lacking knowledge about our musical heritages and existence, it is not their immediate mistake. It is due to our own laziness to expose our musical face through available channels. This is also true that we as the greater music holders could have done better, but which other group was able to provide tranquility and hope as effective and productive as musicians did in the past two decades.

Best Afghan Singer of the Year 2001:
"I am truly grateful to this generosity"

If I could ever become an ocean, and my every single wave would be thanking you generous people who have selected me as the best and most wanted servant and "Best Artist of 2001", I will never be able to pay back in a tiny amount compared to the love and support that I have received.

This is not the first time that you have been extra kind to offer me this title, as the same title was granted to me in 1990 back home as well, for which I can't find the words to thank all of you. In exchange to this love and support of yours I commit that I will always try to be the true and honest voice of your agony and ecstasy. My tunes will be the holder of your love, and my voice will remain the house of your love and a guard for your history and evergreen heritage.


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