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Nasheed singer's 'songs of life' draw inspiration from Omani poetry


Photo - Cio Datan/Times of Oman

What is life, if not poetry, If not a beautiful symphony? In the beginning there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it's in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile…' For Ahmad Al Rasbi, life is one beautiful song, meant to be celebrated and shared with others.

The gifted nasheed singer, for whom music is a most effective medium of spreading the message of peace, love, and harmony, is up with his first compilation of songs in the album titled Rasail Al Bahja (Messages of happiness). "New tones, new words," as the singer describes it, the album, with 10 songs, focuses on the many aspects of life like love, friendship, respect, and patriotism. The melodious compositions draw inspiration from Omani poetry, according Al Rasbi.

"This is my first attempt at spreading the message of spiritual oneness to brothers and sisters of my country, and the world. We have so much in common, so much to rejoice. All we have to do is realise it. The compositions inspire and call for spiritual awakening," said Al Rasbi, speaking of the album.

The compositions, sung beautifully, and set in a jubilant tone, celebrate life and its achievements, he says. The protégé of sensational Saudi singer Mohammed Rasheed Al Musaid, Rasbi's tryst with singing started more than 15 years ago when he took formal training in singing and music at a music academy in Kuwait.

The path to righteousness
Talking about his favourite number in the album, Al Rasbi said it was Ya Taeer Al Waddi (O bird deliver my greetings). The song talks about peace, happiness, and love, and was based on the composition of famous Omani poet Salim Al Busaidi, he disclosed.

Stressing upon the fact that nasheed was a very different and distinct genre, Al Rasbi said it was unique from the rest in the way that it reflected spirituality and pertinent issues of life.

"Nasheed guides you to the path of righteousness and oneness. It brings you closer to God, and shows you the light to become a better person by garnering love and respect for other people, and the things around you," said Al Rasbi.

Strictly against fusion, the artist believes maintaining the right tone for the right words and mood, was essential for a nice composition. "The mood and the tone should never be intertwined. It is the mood and words which create the tone and not otherwise."

Though never taking up singing as a profession, he has been closely associated with the art, and pursuing it as hobby, imparting training to school children across Oman, and participating in musical and cultural events. Many of his students are part of the album as chorus in the compositions.

No support for local talent
The artiste, facing difficulty arranging funds for the release of the album, has been supported by the Zubair Group. He said a government body should be set up to support and promote local talent. The artist has also approached the ministry of culture and heritage, and Royal Opera House in this regard. He, however, regrets that, despite having huge venues for showcasing talent in Oman,  no efforts were being made to promote local talent.

"So much money is spent on organising international fests and events, but none for our traditional art and artistes. It really hurts to see foreign artistes being given a huge platform to perform while local talent is never given a chance,' said Rasbi.

A pipeline technician by profession, his friends' favourite pastime is to revel in his intonations. The jovial man is always eager to oblige.

Serenity prevailed as Al Rasbi begun cantillating a song from one of his albums, Motini (My country), in his flawless, velvet voice, making one and all vacillate along with the tone.

To get in touch with the reporter: faisal@hioman.com

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