Special Coverage
12:18 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

A New Take on a Classical Indian Instrument

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

You may be familiar with the sound of the South Asian sitar. It's a hanting, somewhat mesmerizing stringed instrument. At the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts in Lahore they’ve adapted the instrument and molded it into the Sagar Veena.

From the Institute’s website:

Headed by Mohammed Riaz, a instrument-maker belonging to a family of craftsmen dating back to the 19th century. He, along with Raza Kazim and other members of the department, have set a two-fold precedent in the field of Instrument Making. One introducing the above mentioned knowledge in the production of ‘Sagar Veena’, a new musical instrument for Indian Classical Music.

 Two, evolving an instrument in one generation and in one place. The objective has been to achieve a much greater musicality, and a capacity for producing complex anddynamic resonances, and micro tones, along with a greater variety of sonic timbers than is already available in the existing Indian Classical Instruments. So that the artist while trying to express and communicate his/her dynamic sensitivity processes, is not hampered by the limitations of the sound an instrument can produce.

            You can check out the sound of the Sagar Veena and its smaller sibling as played by Noor Zehra Kazim.

            (Audio courtesy of Odette Yousef, WBEZ)