As a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology, I’ve done eighteen months of research on Sindhi-language Sufi poetry performance in Kachchh, Gujarat (western India), a border and coastal district adjacent to Sindh, Pakistan. In my current research, I look at how poetry performance, especially of poetry by Shāh ‘Abdul Latīf Bhiṭā’ī (1689-1752 CE) has served as a means for the transmission of Islamic/ethical teachings in rural Muslim communities in Kachchh. My dissertation, “A Heavy Rain Has Fallen Upon My People: Sufi Poetry Performance, Ethics, and Islamic Learning in Kachchh, Gujarat,” focuses in particular on the role of affect and emotion in the poetic transmission of ethical and religious knowledge. In total, I've spent a few years in India since 2005, studying music and languages (Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi, Kachchhi, Punjabi).
People often ask how I came to be interested in South Asia. The short answer I give is, "The Beatles." The long answer is, well, longer. With regard to Sindhi music, I first became enthralled by the Sindhi Pakistani singer Abida Parveen in 2004, but it wasn’t until a decade later that I became familiar with other Sindhi singers and developed a deeper interest in the region’s musical traditions. You can watch more videos I’ve made of Sindhi music in Kachchh, Gujarat on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/brianbondmusic