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Belgrade sessions

Living in Obrenovac ‘transit centre’ on the outskirts of Belgrade, Serbia was Noor, a Pakistani musician I had played with many times before. He was one of the musicians that was the inspiration for No Borders Music. We would sit in the field if the weather was good, or in an empty room behind the kitchen and play. I brought my accordion and a guitar, and he would sing like it was the last time, every time. Other residents of Obrenovac would often flock, encircling us with cheers, claps and wild dance moves. Noor taught me about classical raga scales and of the various moods they are intended to invoke. Sometimes, for a laugh, we would create fusions between Bollywood and Hollywood songs, such as the ‘Titanic theme’ and Bollywood hit, ‘Jeena Jeena”.

 

We recorded ‘Dum Dum Ali’ with a guitar and cajon drum in one session that began in the afternoon at a warehouse near the city centre and finished at dawn the next day in a friend’s yoga studio. We had relocated around midnight for a warmer environment. The rest of the instrumentation was added by musicians based in Melbourne, recorded in a slick new studio in the CBD. A complete contrast from the Belgrade warehouse. However, I kept constant communication with Noor throughout the production process, honouring his vision for the track as best as possible.

 

‘Dum Dum Ali’ is a traditional Sufi song, reimagined in a contemporary style. The lyrics are a combination of traditional Sufi poems from three different languages: Persian, Punjab and Urdu. They describe a devotee’s relationship with god, invoking a spiritual connection with the divine.

Dum Dum Ali 

Farsee, Punjab & Urdu lyrics

 

Ho.. Ho.. Ho.. Ho......

Ali Imam-E-Manasto Manam Ghulam-E-Ali,

Hazar Jan-E-Girami Fida Ba Nam-E-Ali,

Haiderium Qalandarum Mastum, 

Banda-E-Murtaza Ali Hastum

Banda-E-Murtaza Ali Hastum

Banda-E-Murtaza Ali Hastum,

Payshewa-E-Tamam Rindanum

Ke Saghay Ku-E-Shair-E-Yazdanum,

 

Ik Allah Kolon Mai Dardi

Ik Mola Kolon Mai Dardi

Ik Allah Kolon Mai Dardi

Ik Mola Kolon Mai Darni aan,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum,

 

Ik Allah Kolon Mai Dardi

Ik Mola Kolon Mai Darni Aan,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Ali Dum,

 

Peer Peeran Hazrat Meeran,

Peer Peeran Hazrat Meeran,

Naam Jay Laiyya Tuttiyan Zanjeera,

Ho Naam Jay Laiyya Tuttiyan Zanjeera,

 

Mai Murshid Kamil Kardi,

Mai Murshid Haadi Karni Aan,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum,

 

Ik Allah Kolon Mai Dardi

Ik Mola Kolon Mai Darni Aan,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Dum Dum Ali,

Dum Dum Ali Ali Dum..........

 

Mola Mola Mola Mola Mola,

 

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Ali Ali,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola,

Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Mola Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali........

 

Mola....................................

 

Mola Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali.........................

 

Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali Dum Dum.