Society / Italie
The Radiodervish in Search of Simurgh
babelmed - 17/03/2005
In search of SIMURGH is a special project inspired by the literary work The Conference of the Birds (Mantiq at-Tayr) by the 12th century Persian author Farid ad-din Attar.
This classic work of Sufi literature starts with a conference of all the birds, who decide to undertake a long and arduous journey to seek their King, Simurgh.
The metaphorical journey which Attar depicts is a wonderful fresco of the diversity that humankind has to offer - kings and princesses, silver-chested slaves and damsels with moon-shaped faces, archangels who talk to people and love-struck errant sufis.
The tracks on the album are all connected with Attar's book: one tells of the tender love between Layla and Majnun, emblematic figures recalling archetypal lovers in Oriental literature; some tunes evoke the figure of the Hoopoe and of the Phoenix, key birds in mystic symbolism, while others capture the essence of flight, the main metaphor throughout both the book and the album, with ethereal tracks such as La Falena e la Candela (The Moth and the Candle) and yet another, Cento Mondi (A Hundred Worlds), recalls a space voyage.
The music makes up a sort of oriental suite in which emotions inherent in the literary work generate a fable-like atmosphere with moments of meditative and rarefied consciousness. The lyrics are written in the diverse languages typical of Radiodervish's approach, the three main ones being Arabic, English and Italian.
In Search of SIMURGH was released in the shops on 15th April, with five thousand copies being sold in the first month. The album was presented to the public on a hugely popular showcase tour of the biggest bookshops in the Feltrinelli Libri e Musica chain, from Rome to Milan, and from Naples to Bari.
In search of SIMURGH will become a live stage act from the 8th June 2004 when Radiodervish will be opening the "Mediterraneo" Festival at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome, the first date on the group's tour. The Conference of the Birds
Farid ad-din Attar is one of the most famous Persian mystical poets after Rumi, and is known as one of the great masters of Sufism. He lived in the 12th century, and from what we know of him, had a profound knowledge of music, astronomy, medicine as well as the philosophical theories of the time. Around a hundred works have been attributed to him, one of the most famous being The Conference of the Birds.
This is the story of a long journey undertaken by a flock of birds in search of their King, Simurgh, a transparent symbol of divinity. The birds finally reach their goal after travelling through seven valleys: Love, Knowledge, Detachment, Unification, Bewilderment, Privation and Annihilation.
Simurgh, which means "thirty birds" (the number of birds who survived the journey out of the hundred thousand who started off), manifests himself as a mirror for the chosen few who manage to see him: at the end of the work, the metaphor of the journey resolves itself in the discovery that the birds and their King are one and the same being.
The book is clearly a metaphor of the mystic journey, Man's spiritual ascent, and the challenges which need to be overcome to reach the Beyond, to connect with it and to find oneself in its image.
The book is full of anecdotes, stories, and fairy tales, all expressed in a rich refined style that combines elegant poetry and a profound mystic and philosophical knowledge which can only be compared in western literature with Dante's Divine Comedy.
Attar paints a fresco of the diversity that humankind has to offer - kings and princesses, silver-chested youths and damsels with moon-shaped faces, archangels who talk to people and love-struck errant sufis, characters drawn both from Biblical sources and from the Qu'ran.