Mountain Music Festival – A Mystical Journey

Master musicians from mountain valleys of Pakistan and Afghanistan took the audience on a mystical, musical journey of mind and soul at a music festival in Islamabad. The hall of Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) resonated with mystical sounds as the traditional artists enamoured the audience with magical tunes presented using varied musical instruments. The performance, by tradition bearers from Pakistan and Afghanistan, was a devotional expression of diverse music traditions of the region, reflecting how diverse languages and geographies are united by culture and music.

The ‘Mystic Mountain Music’ was organized by Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) and the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP) in collaboration with the embassy of France in Pakistan. The Music gala was aimed at bringing together master musicians and tradition bearers to explore historic shared values of the mountain communities living both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


The performance of the musicians from Chitral, Hunza and Peshawar represented the musical unity among different communities of Pakistan’s mountain-valleys. Ustad Ali Gohar, the last master durmmer of ‘Safro family of Hunza’ performed with Shamsulo the great grandson of Budul. The event started with a soulful tune called ‘Bo Te Hareep’ which was followed by classic tunes ‘Ashur Jaan’ and ‘Doshi Ke Dandoshi’. Ashur Jaan celebrates human nature of legendry mythical character called Kisar (Caesar) which is played in GB, Chitral, Ladakh and Tibet with various interpretations. Doshi Ke Dandoshi, describes a mother’s feeling who lost her young intelligent Doshi on the wedding day. The mother then sings a song to glorify the untimely death of Doshi and great personal sacrifice of Dandoshi.


For communities living in mountain valleys music was once the only medium of recording histories of achievements both individual and collective, personal loss and overpowering natural events, their interaction with nature dominated by high mountains and glaciers, their beliefs and least but not last source of amusement. Music, therefore, was evolved into an effective medium of communication and expression.

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