Teaser of The Sketches Project Khahori with Jono Manson
Listen the first teaser of the project:
More Details about the Project
In the fall of 2011 Jono Manson was contacted by Saif Samejo, lead singer of the Sufi-Folk band “The Sketches”, who are from Jamshoro, Hyderabad in Sindh province, located in south-eastern Pakistan. Samejo asked if Manson might be interested in collaborating with his group in a long-distance musical and cultural exchange. After listening to a bit of The Sketches music, Jono quickly agreed.
To start, they began composing a piece called Khahori (“Wandering Ascetics”) with a text based on a poem by Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689 – 1752), a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, poet, and musician. Bhittai is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the Sindhi language and his work has frequently been compared to that of Rūmī. Manson adapted an English translation of the text into a more “singable” version and the exchange of musical ideas began. As they began to work together it became clear that what they held in common was much greater than their differences, culturally, musically and philosophically.
Tracks we’re recorded in America and in Pakistan, using both “western” and traditional Pakistani folk instruments, and the project travelled back and forth via the internet for several months until it’s completion. The result is a beautiful and powerful piece, sung both in English and in Sindhi, which explores a very universal theme – that of seekers of truth, wisdom and light.
The Sketches debut album ‘Dastkari’ (meaning ‘one’s own creation’) was released in 2010 with Folk/Sufi/Rock songs in Sindhi, Saraiki and Urdu bearing a wide range of messages promoting peace, a rich cultural heritage, freedom of expression and love. This project with Manson marks the first time that the group has incorporated the English language in their work.
This collaboration, so far, has been done at a distance, but the connection between these musicians has become close and very human. This is a testament to the true power of music – to communicate beyond boundaries, beyond language.
Perhaps the most exciting outgrowth of this project is the plan for Jono to join The Sketches in Pakistan in May/June of 2012. Preparations are being made for the filming of a music video for “Khahori” and a documentary on this face-to-face meeting, which will occur in and around the deserts of Sindh Province. Further collaborations with local Sufi folk musicians are also part of this growing plan.
The current state of global politics and, in particular, the relationship between The United States and Pakistan lends yet another level of significance to this project. Here, musicians are relating to one another simply as musicians, not as citizens of one country or another. All involved firmly believe that this is how genuine bridges of understanding must be built between human beings.