A Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner, Lakha Khan is one of the last living masters of a rare and versatile instrument, the Sindhi Sarangi. He is a Manganiyar, a marginalized community of Muslims who make a living playing music on either side of the India-Pakistan border. In Pakistan, the community is called ‘Manganhar’, and has less complex, but nevertheless potent, version of the sarangi called the surando. Lakha Khan’s music goes well beyond the confines of his community in range, repertoire and above all, inclusiveness. For this—and his unique talent—his place in Indian folk music history is assured.
"In the master's hand, the Sufi-influenced melody he coaxes from it (the sarangi) is transformative"
Michael Sullivan on National Public Radio (NPR), Weekend Edition
The ‘Sarangi’ literally means ‘a hundred colours’, an evocative way to describe an instrument of unmatched versatility. It can be played in innumerable styles, and is capable of conveying every human emotion.
Lakha Khan, a maestro of the folk version of the instrument, uses the adaptability of the Sarangi to play music from a variety of traditions. He sings Bulleh Shah in Punjabi just as fluently as he renders Kabir’s dohas in Hindi, and is just as comfortable singing songs native to Rajasthan in a variety of dialects.
These recordings were made in May 2012 using high fidelity multi-track digital recorders in single take.