Following an open call for applications in Autumn 2022, Muslim Shaggan was awarded a 6-week funded residency. Cove Park’s programme of funded residencies support research, the development of existing and new projects, collaboration, interdisciplinary practice, and the production of new work and ideas. All national and international artists, cultural practitioners, and researchers, working individually and collaboratively in all art forms, in the creative industries, and across disciplines, were eligible to apply. Cove Park’s residencies also support individuals at every stage in their careers.

Muslim Shaggan is a vocal hereditary musician and performing artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. He started learning music at the age of 7 with his late grandfather, Ustad Ghulam Hassann Shaggan and his family hails from the Gwalior gharana or stylistic lineage of classical South Asian music. His lineage has three branches; Gwalior gharana, Kaparthula gharana and the rubabi tradition.  

This music pre-dates colonialism and modern nation states and marks the coming together of Indic and Persian aesthetic and philosophical sensibilities in the 16th century. Muslim recently completed a Masters in Mass Communication from Punjab University, however, his musical practice is and will always be my first love and priority! He has been performing at major events for classical music in Lahore and also other cities since 2016. His primary expertise and focus is Khayal singing although his repertoire includes Thumri, Ghazals, Kafi, Soz/Noha/Salam. He sings in 5 languages; Purbi, Sanskrit, Farsi, Urdu and Punjabi and has taught music at institutions Hast o Neest and Teen Taal studios. With the rise of commercialism and modern nation state politics, keeping this musical tradition alive and initiating knowledgeable listeners is of utmost importance. Therefore, Muslim is committed to teaching the practice of and knowledge about his musical heritage. He looks forward to a life of intimate exploration and soulful refinement of his practice. 

At Cove Park, within its beautiful and nurturing environment, Muslim intends to have a ‘chillah’ or meditation retreat aimed to purify one’s practice and cultivate breakthroughs. Although it is most commonly associated with Sufi’s and the spiritual path, it is also something classical South Asian musicians of previous times have partaken in to deepen their relationship to their music; a rite of passage of sorts for many of the masters.  

 Image provided by the artist.