Montreal-based Constantinople Ensemble is a group of musicians who chose the journey, not only geographical, but also historical, cultural, temporal, and inner, as their cornerstone, drawing inspiration from all sources and aiming for distant horizons. To the cynic this vision will sound trite. But unlike so many in the world of contemporary art music , the Constantinople Ensemble under their music director Kiya Tabassian put their music where their mouth is. Their recently-released album In the Footsteps of Rumi on the innovative Glossa label may be predictable in subject matter. But the core ensemble of setar (Persian lute), kanun (Turkish zither), percussion, and baroque violin and viola d'amore is far from predictable. For the exquisite Rumi settings in Persian and Arabic they are joined by Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali in an album that provides a refreshingly astute viewpoint on the over-exposed Rumi . Even further off the predictability scale is the Cons
Can't resist, though, mentioning Churchill's comment on learning Gandhi was back in town (London)..."oh no, not that bloody fakir again!"
I must say that the words attributed to Churchill by billoo sound a lot more characteristic of Eric Idle. But that apart, the words of WSC that gave rise to the "half-naked fakir" image, surely one of the best-known of the plethora of things Churchill never said, were:
"...a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace..."
When historians of my age and (even older) Peter Brown's speak of the 'historical imagination', we don't mean just making stuff up. (See Collingwood, Oakeshott, Barfield, White, et al.) That we really do leave to Monty Python, Hollywood filmmakers, and the historical novelists averse from research. Oh, and also to the younger generations of historians who adhere to post-modernist thought, giving primacy to subjective opinion and bringing the historical discipline to an undignified end.
So, yes, your point is well taken...it was a flippant comment and I can see how it must be quite infuriating as a scholar to read that. I would be interested to know in what sense Churchill used the word 'fakir' but am extremely weary of using Pli's space here for this digression)
Perhaps we can at least agree that it was quite funny?