“Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher” – A science fiction novel and a concept music album from Pakistan
Occasionally you run into a project that completely blows you away (in a good way! Homeland Security is watching so one has to clarify things). Here is one such project by music producer Zohaib Kazi: Ismail ka Urdu Sheher. It is science fiction novel and a concept album – and now it also has an animated video to go along with this. I haven’t had a chance to get a hold of the novel, but here is the premise:
The story of Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher draws on science fiction to narrate the journey of a futuristic Earth’s Large Hadron Collider experiment whose repercussions have had a ripple effect on the fabric of the universe, challenging the very existence of a distant planet. Ismail Alset, who is the foremost scientist of that world, stands clueless and follows ‘breadcrumbs’ in hope to find answers to the calamity, a journey which will lead to bigger revelations about the universe and his personal life.
You can watch the animated video Wake up/Jaago here (I couldn’t embed it here – but it is definitely worth a trip to the land of Facebook). The video itself is a product of several years and was “was produced through stop motion rotoscope process, comprising over 5000 digitally hand drawn frames”.
Here are two other videos from album – and both are moody, haunting, and spectacular. Here is chapter 4, Kinara – ‘Supnoon ka Sheher’ (As described in the beginning, Kinara is the financial and technological capital of the distant planet Elaan):
And here is chapter 3, Black Coffee – ‘Khwabon mein’:
Zohaib Kazi – Black Coffee feat. Abbas Ali Khan, Omran Shafique and Sara Haider from Zohaib Kazi on Vimeo.
You can listen to five tracks from Ismail ka Sheher here.
All of this made my day today – and thanks to Zakir Thaver for pointing me to this work. Zakir himself is busy giving finishing touches to his ambitious documentary about Abdus Salaam.