Music with Books

Kabir’s poetry prospers in a stunning diversity of musical styles, languages and socio-cultural landscapes in the Indian sub-continent. In central India we encounter Kabir in the folk music style of Malwa, Madhya Pradesh. In the desert stretches of western India, we discover him in Marwari folk songs of the Mirasi and Meghval communities. We cross the border over to Karachi and Sindh in Pakistan and find him in the robust Sufi qawwali form. In Punjab he is sung as gurbani and in urban cities in the Indian classical bhajan.

In these music CDs and books, Kabir’s voice is presented the way it is sung in these spaces, mingling with and becoming one with many other voices. In Malwa, his songs merge with the songs of Nath Panthis like Gorakh Nath, Gulabi Nath, Bana Nath and Bhavani Nath. In Pakistan, his voice becomes one with Sufi poets such as Sachal Sarmast, Jalalluddin Rumi, Amir Khusro and Zaheen Shah. In the traditions of devotional singing from Punjab, his voice rubs shoulders with Guru Nanak, the founding guru of the Sikh religious tradition.