Sounds of the Sufis - A Humble Attempt to Spread Love, Acceptance and Unity
Posted on 28 February, 2017 by Team Wishberry
Soulful and surreal - the two adjectives which define the feeling of immersing yourself in Sufi music. This beautiful experience does not get restricted just to the singer but also, seamlessly gets passed on to the listener. ‘Sounds of the Sufis’ is one group which has been successful in creating this divine experience for many through their interactive performances across various cities in India, and even as far as London. Anurag Dhoundeyal, Priyanka Patel and Karan Chitra Deshmukh - the trio which formed this group bring the Sufi philosophy of love, acceptance and unity to the audiences through their three hour stage show.
Sounds of the Sufis emerged from a music workshop held by Anurag and Karan. Priyanka, a psychologist and an art educator, ran a company along with Anurag called The Looking Glass, which organised life skill workshops. She joined the duo and the three decided to convert the music workshop into a performance to reach out to larger audience. However, before sharing it with the world, they felt that it was important to first bring Sufism into their own lives. The trio set-out on meeting experts and scholars on Sufism for their research. The result is this mesmerising performance which talks about Sufism, its origin and the journey it has taken over centuries.
Talking about the performance, Anurag states, “Our performance is a completely self-researched, self-scripted piece that has been developed organically with time, with individuals who have joined the process as organically as the performance is.” It consists of intimate personal experiences shared along with folklores and tales of miracles and wonderment. Musical compositions based on original poems written by saints and poets are used to bind the whole experience together. On popular demand of the audience, the group is in the process of launching a music album which will consist of 12 songs, including 2 originals.
“After every performance of Sounds of the Sufis, the audience has been asking us for the music album. We really want the audience to take home with them a slice of this experience, and making this album is the best way to make that possible”, states Anurag.
The Crowdfunding Campaign
In order to make the music album possible, the group resorted to crowdfunding on Wishberry in October last year. The response was phenomenal and Sounds of the Sufis crowdfunding campaign raised INR 6.4 lakhs from 119 funders, significantly over-achieving their target of INR 5 lakhs. 60% of the funders contributed INR 3000 or less and 3 funders generously stepped forward with a contribution of INR 50000. Major funding came-in from their friends, family, fans and followers. 20% of the funders claimed to have not known the group personally. Contributions were also made by funders living in International locations such as US, UK, Canada, Singapore and UAE.