ربا میرے حال دا محرم توں

On hearing recordings of this nature, it becomes clear why time away from Noori makes sense for Ali Hamza. This version of Rabba Meray Haal Da Mehram Tuu’n, released last Ramadan, showcases the gravitas Hamza is able to bring to modernized semi-classical compositions. A few years ago, I was under the impression that Ali Sethi, Zeb Bangash, and Hamza could together represent a new generation of semi-classical music that carried forward the melodic structures of Indian classical in new packaging. Hamza’s run on Coke Studio 10 and his solo concert series Sanwal was proof of this. I hope Hamza’s in-progress solo album pushes forward both his demos from two decades ago, as well as this direction.

Hamza told a Facebook Live audience that it was actually this song that Noori had originally intended to perform at Coke Studio Season 3. They held back because the Mekaal Hasan Band had released their own impressive version of this kalam around the same time. Noori ended up performing Hor Vi Neevan Ho instead, which didn’t work out so bad.

It is staggering to imagine though, that even Coke Studio 3 was also about a decade ago. So the net of the music that we have seen from Hamza has represented old work finally recorded and pushed out. It was the haunting of old material, that in a way became a weight for Noori. I hope desperately for Hamza, but really also for us, that we get to see a body of both the old and the new, soon enough.