Founder and director of the Badakhshan Ensemble, Soheba Davlatshoeva is an accomplished performer, singer, dancer, and instrumentalist, who joined forces with the Aga Khan Music Initiative more than a decade ago, thus sharing the musical traditions of Badakhshan with audiences across the globe. Davlatshoeva explained that musical sound is capable of conveying inner meaning, or batin, and it is the duty of performers to understand and transmit this through their music, regardless of linguistic barriers. “As a professional singer, you have to feel this mode and convey it. The mode works almost like words.’ This kind of musical ethos, which was once common across in the Islamic world, is no longer ubiquitous. But it does appear to be firmly ingrained in the musical thinking of Ismaili musicians from Badakhshan to the present day.