STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Music Legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori has made a new raga and named it Raga Hem Rast. The new raga is a rare combination of Raga Hemant of Indian Classical and Muqam Rast-e-Kashmiri of Sufiana Mausiqi. “Just as Himgiri (Himalaya) touches Kashmir through its Inner region, similarly Rast-e-Kashmiri in its Purwang combines with Hemant to form Hem Rast. The raga will be released soon for music connoisseurs and is a tribute to my homeland Jammu & Kashmir”, said Pt. Sopori. Hailed as the ‘King of Strings’, Pt. Sopori gave his first classical concert on Santoor in Srinagar in 1953 and then regularly performed for AIR broadcasts and also for programmes organized by the State Government like during the time of the then Prime Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, Khwaja Shamsuddin, Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq and the then Sadr-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir Dr. Karan Singh. He proved to the world that Santoor is a classical music instrument of Kashmir and not a foreign or folk instrument. He has represented the country in many prestigious platforms like European Parliament, Smithsonian Institution, Crow Collection of Asian Arts, Rashtrapati Bhawan, 50th Independence celebrations of India, Pari Mahal concert by J&K Govt, etc. Some of his major collaborations include musical works and performances with the Grammy Award winner & legendary Harmonica player Howard Levy, Austrian Vienna Boys Choir, Iranian Santur Maestro Dr. Darius Saghafi and others. His acclaimed works also include compositions for various musical genres like Sufi, Folk, Devotional, Ghazal, Nazam, Geet, Qawwali, Children songs, etc. His devotional compositional work is considered as a major contribution to Indian music having composed Hindu devotional songs (Bhajan, Aarti, Nirgun, Sagun), Sikh devotional songs (Gurubani, Bhajan, Kirtan), Islamic devotional songs (Naat, Manqabat, Dua, Salaam, Marsiya), Christian Devotional songs (Hymn), Jain devotional songs, etc. and also Vedic and Sanskrit Chants. He has also composed the works of Guru Nanak, Kabir, Rai Das, Sur Das, Meera Bai, Brahmanand, Dadu Dayal, Dariya Saheb, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Maluk Das, Ras Khan, Ali Mardan Khan and others. He has composed the works of almost all the eminent Urdu and Persian Ghazal writers like Hali, Jami, Ghalib, Daagh, Momin, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Firakh Gorakhpuri, Hasrat Mohani, Mir Taqi Mir, Amir Meenai, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Dushyant, Nida Fazli, Adam, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Shahryay, Hafeez Jalandhari, Prem Jalandhari, Akbar Allahabadi, Shad, Anand Narain Mulla Renu Snehil, Roshni, and others to name a few. Some of his prominent compositional releases include Bub, Virasat, Ek Baar Muskura Do, Tarakh Maal 1&2, Sindhi Sufi Kalams, Aalav, Runjhun, Ma Haro Meri Peer, Ajab Nain Tere, Anwari Muhammadi SAW, Jai Baba Barfani, Amarnath Yatra, Spirit of Doon, Chesham Bu Wandey’, Surya Upasana, Durga Kavach, Mahamritunjaya, Shraddha Posh, Hoor Soni Ambaran Di, Rosh Valla Myan Dilbaro, Navaka Chitijaba, Khwaish, Guru Boliya, Meera Bole Ram, Bani, Melodies Of Rajasthan 1&2, Folk Melodies Of Himachal Pradesh 1&2, Sagun, Soni Jee Maem Jee, Nagma e Firdous, and singles by SaMaPa like Dua, Wohi Khuda Hai, Nai Subha – Kashmiri & Dogri, Hazrat-e-NabiSAW, Jannat e Kashmir, etc. He has composed some of the most popular patriotic songs of India which have been received as great master pieces and major musical hits of the country loved by people of all age groups. He also recomposed and revived the INA songs and also composed anti-terrorism songs like Savdhan, “Mere Jannat Mere Kashmir” etc. His classical version of ‘Saare Jahan Se Achha’, instrumental version of ‘Vande Maataram’ and instrumental folk version of ‘Vaishnav Jan’ are recognized as pioneering efforts.
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