Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Directions: Harmonium Music

The Washerman's Dog is now nearly 2 years old. And like all two year olds, it is going through a stage of rapid development. It suddenly is no longer an infant but a toddler with a mind of its own. It has its own ideas on how the world should look.

I started this blog for the same reason every other person blogs about music.  I'm in love with it and get a kick out of sharing the stuff I love as well as partaking of the offerings of others. I had no idea, when I began, how long the trip would last or how much fun it would be. I could not conceive of meeting so many interesting people and discovering so many new artists and styles of music making.   When I began, I was gainfully employed full time in a 'senior' role in a company that had its HQ in a tall building.

I no longer work for that company and indeed, have been 'self employed' for the past 16 months.  The Washerman's Dog has been a constant companion over that time. In fact, it has been much more than that. Blogging has been an unexpected discipline of sorts and food for my soul. 

A few months ago, I decided to put legs on the idea of starting a record label and music business. Not that I have any experience in these things but after being a pretty active blogger and reader of other blogs I thought I spotted a couple of gaps in the market, that I thought might be worthwhile trying to fill. The main gap being, there was no single place on the net where you could find music from all of South Asia's 8 countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives) and the South Asian musical diaspora. 

Yesterday I launched Harmonium Music as an on-line musical bazar where I offer CDs, (and soon, digital downloads and vinyl) and T-shirts from South Asia.  I hereby invite all of you who have been following the Washerman's Dog on a regular or occasional basis to check it out. And I ask for your assistance and support in spreading the word about it and if you hear of anyone who has an interest in buying some music from this particular part of the world, tell them to go to Harmonium Music.

The current offering in the bazar is a bit limited (only about 22 CDs and fewer T shirts) but it will grow.  The vision is to be THE place for people to come to learn about South Asian music, artists, and buy the same.  I am also currently in discussion with a couple of other very interesting fanatics around the world about producing a couple of CDs of South Asian music that is currently not available.  By 2015 or so I'd like to hold the first Harmonium Music festival in Varanasi....or Lahore...or Kandy....or Kathmandu! A festival where Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Indian and Bangladeshi musicians would play and sing and dance with musical soul mates from Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bradford and New York and the Caribbean.

I will, naturally, be spending most of my creative juices over at Harmonium Music from now on. I had thought of wrapping the Washerman's Dog up but have decided to simply let it rest for a while.  There is an awful lot of music beyond South Asia that deserves to be shared and heard. And indeed, there is an awful lot of South Asian music on vinyl and cassette that is not commercially available anywhere, so there may be reasons to keep the Dog barking for some time.

So for tonight's post I share with you a sample of just some of the music that I am promoting and selling over at Harmonium Music.  I hope you enjoy it and that you'll help me make this new venture a success.

If anyone is interested in helping out in anyway, especially in terms of making modest investments, and scheming on how we can make Harmonium a premier international initiative, by all means get in touch. 

So until next time enjoy!
Track Listing:
01 Amir Khusrao [Gurmej Raja]
02 Dum Dhola [Saida Begum]
03 Aasa Raag - Kabir Vaani [Gurnam Singh]
04 Pir Pagaro [Bijal Khan Mehar]
05 Dukhda [Raza Khan]
06 Sade Val Mukhda Mod [Akhtar Ali]
07 Har Rang Di [Dayam Khan]
08 Heer - Jogi [Narata Ram]
09 Lok Boli [Balvinder Mast]
10 Sassi Di Ma [Balwinder Mast]
11 Mala Phoolan Ki [Harikesh Singh]
12 Jindadiye Naam [Gurmeet and Sardar Surjeet Singh]


gypsykat said...

Congratulations on your new venture. I wish you every success and will be watching to see how this develops. As a long time fan of the Washerman's Dog, I do hope you can keep the 'Dog' alive. While I would miss frequent doses of music I find nowhere else, I think I would miss your writing even more. As the gypsies say: Latcho Drom!

Doug Young said...

Good luck - follow you passion is the word. Can offer some input so will contact you on other site

Rebecca said...

Harmonium Music Festival?! Of course!! What a fantastic idea!!
Meantime, thanks for an amazing journey. I'm glad you're not cutting the dog loose quite yet...

Giri Mandi said...

Wah! best wishes, dear and precious Ajnabi,even if we are really worried for the Dhobi's possible silence...
However... safar salamat ho!

ajnabi said...

Giri ji,

Mofonk said...


I'm new to the blog but I have to say you've already opened me to some fantastic new sounds. Lots of luck with the new label. I will be checking out the sampler for sure. By the way have you heard of these guys?

Take a listen if you will, I think you might like it a lot. keep those ears open!

ajnabi said...

Hi Mofonk,
Welcome to WD! and thanks for the link. Yes I love Cornershop and soon will stock some of their unique music.

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