Also sprach Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tuni

Dependent arising means that while travelling I have been spending much time with Egyptian Sufi music, particularly with the CD seen above from the master of the munshidin - sacred song - Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tûni. This disc is living proof of the unfashionable view that music is humanity's most direct expression of its better self, and I recommend that readers intrigued, or indeed puzzled, by my preoccupation with the esoteric tradition of Islam should exit their comfort zones and enter its force field. My heavy rotation of the sultan of munshidin is evidence of how far I have strayed from today's "it's 2014, so it must be Richard Strauss" monoculture. Audience data and social media trends show that many others are being disenfranchised in the same way. Fortunately the quaint notion that classical music is more than entertainment lives on, and this week the Britten Sinfonia present Bach's St John Passion in Cambridge, Amsterdam, London, Saffron Walden (in the beautateous new Saffron Hall) and Norwich. I will be chairing a pre-concert talk with soprano Julia Doyle and counter-tenor Iestyn Davies at the Norwich performance on Easter Sunday. In his essay for the Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tûni CD Alain Weber's tells how in a Sufi ritual, the hadra - the moment of collective spirituality when the participants enter into the presence of the Divine - is "an open creative event where a whole range of emotional behaviour is expressed". Which is also a very good definition of Passion, as in Bach.

Also on Facebook and Twitter. No review samples involved in this post but I receive payment in kind for the Britten Sinfonia pre-concert talk. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).


Recent popular posts

Wake up and listen to the music

Why cats hate Mahler symphonies

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Soundtrack for a porn movie

Nada Brahma - Sound is God

Untold story of the counterculture's Islamic connection

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

Not everyone climbs mountains

Simple gifts?

Classical music has many Buddhist tendencies