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Sufism is a tradition within islam where the music and poetry is used to purify the mind from the earthly distortion and open the senses to God and eternity. The most important music style within sufism is qawwali, and one of its prime representatives is Raza Khan. He was born into a christian family in the Indian city of Amritsar, but after a life changing travel to Pakistan he incorporated the sufi philosophy into his own belief – inspired by, among others, the legendary qawwali singer Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan. Raza sings in Urdu and Punjabi with a voice that spans over several octaves, sometimes in falsetto. The music is performed in a group on harminium, tablas and hand claps. The compositions are simple and opens up for improvisations where several singers take turns in delivering long, wordless song melismas in a sometimes ecstatic state. To watch Raza perform live is a mesmerising experience, not least because of the wordless communication that takes place between the musicians in what seems to be as much a jam session as meditation. Qawwali is mixed with elements from Indian art music in a way that seems spontaneous and universally accessible in its intense expression.

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