Shumaila Hemani Workshop (containR Fest)

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For many centuries, Muslim mystics following the spiritual dimension of Islam called the tasawwuf have extended the message of love, religious tolerance, and harmony within diverse groups in their settings alongside promoting equity and inclusion. In this workshop, we will learn about these Sufi expressions in sound and movement from Egypt, Turkey, to Pakistan and India with hands-on learning to sing a Sufi poem from the South Asian tradition of qawwali, called Chap Tilak by the poet Amir Khusrow in a South Asian melodic mode from the North, called Raag Aiman. As a result of this workshop, you will have deeper insights into the Sufi spiritual tradition and the ways in which it empowers and brings hope to diverse cultures.


Perils of Heavy Rainfall, an acousmatic composition on floods in Pakistan in 2020, was awarded Second Prize in Listening During COVID contest (2020) by the Canadian Association of Sound Ecology (CASE) and accepted for publication in the Goose, Journal of Environment, Arts, & Culture, Canada (Fall, 2022). 


Hemani’s piece struck a nerve in me for its paradoxical robustness, its vocal virtuosity, the harmonic texture contained in her solo line, and the sense of working out an inner grief by building emotional power and inexorable drive right up to the final note. It ended the first half with a bang and hardly a whimper.” - Stephan Bonfield

— The Calgary Herald

Teaching Artist

Alberta's literary, feminist magazine, New Forum, published the poem, "Living with Purpose" (2021) & Nominated it for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Poetry (2022).