Mehr Ali Ser Ali
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The music of this group has its origins with the Talvandi classical school of Hindustani music. Meher and Sher Ali were born in the Pakistani border-town of Kasur in the early 1950s and received their earlier training in classical music from their father who was a court classical singer at the small Sikh principality of Patiala (now in India). Their father then became the disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of the famous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and young Sher Ali was the student of Bakhshi Salamat Ali Qawwal. Meher Ali and Sher Ali thus acknowledge that the family of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is their “Ustad Gharan” or “Teacher House”, a term imbued with veneration among musical circles in Pakistan and North India. Meher Ali was taught by Muhammad Ali Fareedi, an ordained Sufi qawwal of the shrine of the 13th century Sufi, Hazrat Baba Farid R.A. .Meher Ali was thus trained in Sufi philosophy, poetry, texts and rituals.
All qawwals must have a deep knowledge of Sufi poetic texts. In practice, this often means sacrificing musical quality to retain purity of text. Meher and Sher are qawwals who have achieved the rare combination of both musical quality and authentic text rendition: Sher is known for his abffity to understand the importance of rhythm (lai-kari) and render classical modes in a strong voice, while Mehr's heart-rending high- pitched voice strikes the heart (zarb-ul-qalb) when the poetry contains words of entreaty or sorrow. Amjad Au on the tabla generates more classical detail on his tabla than is normally expected of a qawwali tabla and says, “I strive to recite poetry with my hands.”
The group feels that their music brings harmony and peace to the soul and projects the message of love and unity for all. “We sometimes go into a trance during our performance, so moved are we by the text and music,” says Mehr Ali.
They believe that qawwali goes beyond the limitations of orthodox religion and is a universal invitation to all living beings to share in the feelings of the powerful emotion of pure love, the pain of separation and the joy of union.
The journey begins in 1960’s when Ali brothers started the professional Qawwali. Their talent was first hunted by Radio Pakistan Multan. Then in 1978 Ustad Meher Ali and Sher Ali had their first visual performance at Pakistan Television. Then they never look back and one after other stories of success become a regular news for them. Their first album was released in 1980. In the same year they went to South Africa, England, Dubai and Syria. In the same year they offered Hajj. They are firstly recognized on government level in 1995. Government of Pakistan sent them to England in 1995. King of Marco invited them to Marco in 1996. The year 1997 was a busy one for Meher Ali and Sher Ali as they visited Holland, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Lebanon. In they same year they paid a visit to Amir Jamalat and England. In 1998 Asia Society of Music invited them to perform in America. In 1999 American World Music institute invited them to give some honourary lecture on Qawwali music. In 2000 Meher Ali and Sher Ali participated in World Music Festival. In 2001 they had a big concert in London. 2002 Spain’s concert brought a success story. In 2004 they visited Marco for Faiz Festival and Summer Festival in Japan. In 2005 they visited France for Music the Law Valley. Recently in 2006 and 2007 Meher Ali and Sher Ali visited India, England, South Africa and Qawit.
Meher Ali and Sher Ali has about 40 music albums in market and they have worked for filmi Qawwali. In many other countries Cd’s and audio cassettes are released.
Meher Ali and Sher Ali are nominated by Present Perviz Mushraf for “Pride of Performance Award
Article courtesy of www.meheralisherali.com