Free-spirited heritage

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations recently invited the sect for a performance at the three-day international Sufi music festival held in the Capital. The Sidis got their free-spirited songs that are bound in complex rhythmic patterns floating in the air.

Published: 10th February 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2013 09:44 AM   |  A+A-

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Some years ago Chennai saw a musical fantasy unfold. The Sufis of Nagore and the Bauls from Bengal exchanged notes, sounds and songs. However, not before the audience but in a private corner of a greenroom during a two-day festival. Unfortunately, the Black Sufis of India, the Sidi Goma—a sect from Gujarat, originally a community from East Africa that offers its songs to the Sufi saint Bava Gor—have had little or no interaction with the other Sufi sects from the Indian sub-continent. As a result, their rich musical legacy, ensemble and style remain fairly unexplored. With an exception to researchers and archivists based in New Delhi and the West, not many people have understood the musical value of Sidi Goma’s heritage. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations recently invited the sect for a performance at the three-day international Sufi music festival held in the Capital. The Sidis got their free-spirited songs that are bound in complex rhythmic patterns floating in the air.

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