Jingul – Ustad Noor Bakhsh

This is the debut solo release of Benju maestro, Ustad Noor Bakhsh, from the Makran Coast of Balochistan.

The album is named 'Jingul', after a bird that often frequents Noor's house, and whose songs inspired the last track on this release — an original by Noor.

The album was recorded live on location, over a memorable sunset on the Shadi Kaur creek, close to Noor's village, near Pasni, Balochistan.

Noor plays an Electric Benju, amplified using an old pick up and Phillips amp that he found in a market in Karachi three decades ago. The Benju, is said to have once been a Japanese children's toy called the Taishōgoto. At some point in the 20th century, it was modified and naturalised by Baloch musicians who made it in to a refined folk instrument for themselves.

Balochistan straddles the space between modern day Pakistan and Iran but its music, particularly that of Makran, evokes the well documented migrations and seafaring; historical intimacies with Africa, Persia, and Arabia, via the greater Indian Ocean world.

It is this world that Noor's music wanders through.