The Ismaili Community Ensemble, a golden jubilee initiative, have come together to create a tribute for the Diamond Jubilee of Mowlana Hazar Imam.
Written by Shammi Pithia, Neena Jivraj-Stevenson and Fahreen Virani-Pithia
“The Ismaili Community Ensemble combines my love of music, my creativity and my firm belief in my faith. It gives me a voice, it gives me a sense of belonging and it has been my platform to give of my time and expertise in a voluntary capacity” – ICE participant
WHAT IS THE ISMAILI COMMUNITY ENSEMBLE?
The Ismaili Community Ensemble was founded in 2007 as a Golden Jubilee initiative and aims to nurture musical talent within the community. ICE operates on the premise that music is a powerful method of communication, reflection and education. The musicians and management team are all volunteers who share a passion for creativity and working together. Since 2007, ICE has performed concerts in venues such as The Ismaili Centre, Cadogan Hall and the Royal College of Music and has also featured in several other events in the local community such as Exhibition Road Music Day, Eid in Trafalgar Square (at the invitation of the Mayor of London) and the International Youth Arts Festival. ICE also supports many of the Ismaili community’s internal and external events such as The Big Iftar and the European Sports Festival. For this Diamond jubilee, ICE wanted to create a tribute song to celebrate Mowlana Hazar 60th year as Imam on the time.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DOES ISMAILI COMMUNITY ENSEMBLE PLAY?
Ismaili Community Ensemble composes all its own music from scratch with the support of a professional Musical Director. The music is therefore completely original. It is learnt by ear and everyone contributes to the creative process. Musicians write lyrics inspired by their personal journeys as young Ismailis and seek inspiration from the literature and music of our heritage, such as Rumi’s poetry, ginans and qasidas. The music Ismaili Community Ensemble creates is not rooted in a single style or genre, rather it fuses Western Classical with Jazz, Indian and Arabic influences as well as Soul RnB and Funk, blending cultures and reflecting the diversity of our community. Saxophones, voices, flutes, violins, guitars and keyboards play alongside the sitar, basuri and rubab and our eclectic percussion section comprises a traditional drum kit with cajon, darbuka and tabla.