Prof. Pilar Viviente
“Music is the message of peace,
and music only brings peace.”
The prestigious violinist, composer and musician from Pakistan Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan has passed away on April 10, 2021. He suffered a heart attack at Istambul Airport on his way to the United States from Pakistan. He lived in the US since 1996, along with his family, in Reston, VA. Ustad Dilshad, who was a proud inheritor of the Delhi Gharana, has studies and travelled world-wide. He belonged to a Delhi family, but he is know as a violinist from Pakistan, performing South Asian classical music at recital halls and at universities and recording his compositons on CD. Coming from six generations of musicians, Dilshad is five-time winner of the Amir Khusro Award and the recipient of the National Award (equivalent to the Grammys), he is the only violinist to win the Graduate Award in Pakistan. He also presented lectures on South Asian music at Oxford, Cambridge, Radford University and Columbia University.
Ustad had an extraordinary skill in playing the violin. On Saturday, May 15th, 2021, MY TV, Washington D.C., U.S.A., a media platform for the Desi’s who are settled all over the world, gave tribute to Late Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan. The show Dil Diyan Galan (Talks of Heart) was hosted by my friend Dr. Kazmi. His son Summer Khan and grandaughter Sawaira Summer (Summer daughter) were present in the show to speak about their family legacies. They are the youngest violinits of a dynasty of musicians, from where Ustad Dilhad Hussain Khan magnificent legacy comes from. Sawaira Summer is the first female violinist in the dynasty. You can listen them both talking and also enjoy their beautiful performance at the MY TV show -Dil Diyan Galan.
Click here to watch the video https://m.facebook.com/mytvcus/videos/224009995765990/
Photo Credit: Sawaira Summer performing. Courtesy of MY TV, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Eid Show, May 15 2021.
Photo Credit: Summer Khan performing. Courtesy of MY TV, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Eid Show, May 15 2021.
Photo Credit: Dr. Kazmi presentation of Prof. Pilar Viviente. Courtesy of MY TV, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Eid Show, May 15 2021.
Dr. Kazmi invited me to the show with a Video Clip of 5/6 minutes in remembrance of my association and learning with Ustad. Here is the transcription of my tribute speech 05:81 min (44:29 – 50:10) to honor Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan. You can also see Dr. Kazmi presentation of Prof. Pilar Viviente at min 43:31.
I am Pilar Viviente, artist, professor and musician based in Altea, Alicante, Spain – I much appreciate the invitation of my friend Zulfiqar Kazmi, who is hosting this wonderful show to give a tribute to the great Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan. Here my words in remembrance to honor him.
I had the honor to meet Dilshad at the World Festival of Sacred Music in Altea, November, 8, 9, 10, 2001. Produced by my friends, very close friend Richard Eagleton, who introduce me to Dilshad, and Marc Eagleton producer, with Ricardo Barrantes from LA, producer as well. And that took place in the Auditorium of the Palau Altea with the support of the City Hall thanks to my collaboration in the project.
The World Festival of Sacred Music was part of a global celebration initiated by the Dalai Lama as a means to manifest humanity’s non-violent interdependence in the new millennium. Dilshad spent a few days at Richard’s place after the Festival. That’s when our friendship and musical relationship began. We totally agree on this peace approah to the new millennium, offering beauty and hope for the reaffirmation of our human community.
‘Later, in August 2002, I recorded my first works under the guidance of Dilshad in Virginia, one of the most famous South Asian classical musicians that give a lot, and I am very very sorry for this loss.
I mention this event and my association and learning with Dilshad in one of my montly articles as Contributing Editor of the Socialist Factor Magazine international. It’s an Indian and English magazine, and is published every month from Lancashire, England, and India, Lucknow. And is reaching lot of countries and people. Now is online, because the pandemic is being very hard. And well, you can see this article and all the mentions I do to Dilshad in the magazine, on the June 2017. The article is titled – Dance, Drawing And Music. Art Teaching And Artwork As Link Of Diverse Cultures… Diversity of cultures, peace, it’s a peace project, in fact.
Well, what to say… He was very talented, extremely humble, in my opinion, an outstanding classic violinist, a self made musician (reading a little paper I wrote for him). To me, as far as I know, he told me that he was coming from 6 generations of ragas, family legacy… And for me was really a honor to be his pupil and learn from his teaching based on the purity of the ragas -and his musical roots, for him they were very pure, and coming from the heart, love and care for humanity.
It’s a very big loss for the humanity, people and all the world. He was a God’s gift to mankind. He was really a God’s gift. But his legacy remains, in many of us and for the good of mankind. Our project “Music For Peace” has gone with him. Somehow…
But… Gone yet not forgotten. I am proud of you, Ustad. Your spirit lives within me, forever in my heart.
Photo Credit: Pila Viviente minutes in remembrance of her association and learning with Ustad. Courtesy of MY TV, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Eid Show, May 15 2021.
Readers interested can go to my Facebook account for the article – Viviente, P. (2017, June). Dance, Drawing And Music. Art Teaching And Artwork As Link Of Diverse Cultures And Mediums Of Expression. 38-42. However, I would like to remember here a couple things for a better understanding of my Remembrance. In my article above, when I say that I recorded my first cross-cultural piano compositions with Ustad Dilshad in 2002, US, I am going further. And I explain where the sounds and melodies come from in my piano compositions. Basically it is a mix of ragas/raag, which is the basis of South Asian classical music, Western classical music, and Spanish Andalusian popular and classical music. Ustad Dilshad was very interested in this fussion and in the Spanish composer of classical music, and concert pianists from the beginning of the twentieth century that he discovered with me.
I am after a music that provides freedom, well-being, and unites different cultural elements through improvisation. Enventually, it can evolve to the New Age music and Jazz fusion in each improvisation. Ragas helped me a lot in the art of improvisation, in order to liberate the creativity. As ragas and other genre such as New Age music, modern ambient and Jazz fusion, I am interested in piano compositions that can be used for relaxation purposes, as a stress reliever and intellectual stimulus. Thus, offer a stimulus for one’s intellects, transcend entertainment toward a reflection of one’s soul and provide a quiet haven for one’s soul. Ustad knew it and helped me. Music teachers are very special, because they help their students find the beautiful songs in their hearts.
Sometimes I share this music with my students. It works in art classes as stimulus for drawing practice. It clearly helps the students to draw the human figure, concentrate on their works, and better achieve the basic structure of the representation or schematic realism. It is known that the achievement of a basic structural order in visual realism requires a deep and high mental concentration.
The second topic I wish to highlight is the peace perspective that Dr. Kazmi points out when he introduce me to the audience. This aspect is in the very title of the article -Art Teaching And Artwork As A Link Of Diverse Cultures… When art links different cultures, diversity of cultures, then it produces peace, it generates, creates, spread peace… And this happened in the World Festival of Sacred Music (Paulau Altea, November, 8, 9, 10, 2001), that gathered diverse cultures and religions. Many expressions of the divine, musicians, artist and spiritual teachers from around the world came to Altea to be part of this celebration. The festival brought some of the greatest artists alive, such us Tibetan Monks, Ali Akbar Moradi (Iran), Dominic Miller (Sting’s guitar), K.J. Yesudas (India), Zahawy Group (Hussein Zahawy, Kurdistan Irak), Tümata Group (group founded in 1976 by Doctor Oruc Guvenc), Dilshad Hussain Khan or Rosa Zaragoza (Jewish, Muslim and Christian songs from the Spanish 15th century). Doctor Oruc Guvenc was director of the Department of Ethnomusicology, Research and Music Therapy of the Istanbul University from 1991 to 1996. Mr. Guvenc is Sheik of six Sufi paths, one of them the Mevlevi tradition, (The Whirling Dervishes).
Lately, my association with Ustad was oriented to the development of a Musical Peace Project based on concerts and lectures -a tabla, a violin, a piano and, eventually, a vocalist. It was his dream, and also mine. Our meeting was canceled due to the pandemic. While waiting for the end of the pandemic, we define the project from a perspective of peace. This approach to the new millennium has encouraged him throughout his life, also it has nurtured most of my projects, both academic and artistic. “War is monstruos. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”, as the Dalai Lama affirms. Artists we can contribute to the dignity of our identity, reaffirming our human community, spreading a message of peace -Peace through the arts. Whatever the beauty for each of them, artists offer hope -Peace and Sustainability through the arts.
Photo Credit: Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan performing in October 2019, Virginia, United States. Ustad Dilshad Hussain Khan family archives.