From singing viral, beautiful covers of Indian and Pakistani ghazals, to making original compositions influenced by classical ragas, to forming her fusion band Seven Eyes with husband and Brazilian guitarist Paolo Vinícius – Tanya Wells’ repertoire is burgeoning. And after a stint of working on Seven Eyes‘ debut album, touring, and performing with the likes of Anoushka Shankar, Natacha Atlas and Nitin Sawhney, she’s back in London with two concerts.
We’ve seen Tanya Wells in all these incarnations – more recently with Seven Eyes, and last year in a more ghazal-focussed performance, which we recommended to you here. It’s the latter – with all the cross-genre, cross-cultural and cross-generational dimensions it represented – that’s stayed with us, and we’re looking forward to some more ghazals and thumris in the upcoming concerts. This video of the warm-up for tonight’s performance indicates there’s some lovely original work in store too.
As for the ghazals, here are some of her more accomplished ones – her selection often crowd sourced from an enthusiastic social media audience in Pakistan and India, and usually accompanied simply on guitar or tanpura. We start with Nayyara Noor’s beautiful Ae Ishq Humein, and move on to the eternally captivating Gulon Mein Rang Bhare, written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and famously sung by Mehdi Hasan.
Guloñ meñ rañg bhare bād-e-nau-bahār chale
Chale bhī aao ki gulshan kā kārobār chale
Qafas udaas hai yaaro sabā se kuchh to kaho
Kahīñ to bahr-e-ḳhudā aaj zikr-e-yār chale
Like the new breeze of spring that grants blossoms their hue,
Come forth love, grant the garden leave to go about its business.
This birdcage is forlorn, call upon the gentle wind, friends
To petition the Lord, if it will, to speak of my beloved.
When: Wednesday 28 June 2017, 7pm (a double bill with Carnatic flautist Yatheesan Selvakumar)
Where: Karamel, 4 Coburg Road, Wood Green, London N22 6UJ
Tickets: £8 on the door
More information and to book: Double Bill: Yatheesan Selvakumar & Tanya Wells
When: Saturday 1 July 2017, 7pm
Where: Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, London N7 9AH
Tickets: £15 (+ £1.32 booking fee)
More information and to book: Sama Arts Network – Eventbrite
By Seema Khan.
Photo courtesy of Sama Arts Network
Poetry transliteration courtesy of Rekhta
Posted on 27 July 2017