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Sufi music magical

AN ISRAELI, Shye Ben-Tzur ?fell in love? with Sufi music the moment he heard it. ?Back home, I was exposed to war and religion. It was very disturbing. But through Sufism, I discovered the true beauty of music and life,? he says.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 00:35 IST

AN ISRAELI, Shye Ben-Tzur ‘fell in love’ with Sufi music the moment he heard it. “Back home, I was exposed to war and religion. It was very disturbing. But through Sufism, I discovered the true beauty of music and life,” he says.

Shye is world’s only Hebrew qawwali composer! He has performed at Jahan-e-Khusrau, the fourth international Sufi Festival held in Delhi. And, on Saturday evening, he will perform at Genesis Club in Lucknow.

Barriers of language, culture, religion and region melt away when hearts sway to the soulful music inspired by love. And Shye Ben-Tzur experienced this five years back.

Shye says, “I started as a rock singer but after I heard Sufi music, I knew instantly that this was what I wanted to learn and perform. I was looking for sacred and meaningful music. When I attended a concert in Israel by Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Zakir Hussain, I was hypnotised. I came to Ajmer Dargah and fell for qawwali.”

He adds, “I met qawwals here and learnt qawwali from them, I learnt bansuri from Hariji and dhrupad from Ustad Zia.” He continues, “And, then, I feel that my ancient language, Hebrew lends so beautifully to Sufi songs that Ajmer qawwals sing my Hebrew qawwalis.” Clad in a blue kurta and white pyjama, Shye was practising for his performance in Lucknow when HT Lucknow Live caught up with him for a tête-à-tête. Practising with his close group of musicians Shye says, “I compose the lyrics and they compose the music for my lyrics. I play bansuri also. My group is from Ajmer and it is a group that has people of all religions.” In fluent Hindi he tells you, “Main kho jaata hoon Sufi music sun ke...” He adds, “It inspires love in me and now I have love filled in me. I love life, music, people around me and most of all, I love my wife. Sufi music gave me peace of mind and brought me closer to God.”