Haj Harmony

Touch the Marble by Jamshid Bayrami

“Mysticism and poetry have always been important elements in Islamic cultures.  This has been the case throughout the centuries.  The Muslim world is not composed of a single color.  And it is not static at all.  It is a tapestry of multiple colors and patterns.

Sufism is not an ancient, bygone heritage.  It is a living, breathing philosophy of life.  It is applicable to the modern day.  It teaches us to look within and transform ourselves, to diminish our egos.  There are more and more people, especially women, artists, musicians and so on, who are deeply interested in this culture.” – Elif Shafak, author of The Forty Rules of Love.

Fareed Ayaz and his eight member party will be performing a Qawwali concert to open the Jamshid Bayrami exhibit at La Fontaine.

Listening to the hypnotic songs which typically last from fifteen to thirty minutes may be a new experience for the modern pop music listener, but Qawwali music is not new.  It is a 600-year old Sufi devotional music.

In the West, the best known Qawwali musician was the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  Peter Gabriel’s Real World label released five albums of his music.  In film, his contributions were included in The Last Temptation of Christ, Natural Born Killers, and Eat, Pray, Love.  Since the 1997 death of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Fareed Ayaz’s party has continued to spread Qawwali music worldwide, winning numerous awards and playing for global audiences.

Fareed Ayaz’s eight member party comes to Bahrain under the support of the Paris-based Theatre de la Ville.

Theatre de la Ville “finds beauty in the Surrealists”.  The theater’s aim is

“not to run away from the world and find refuge in dreams, not even for a second; it is rather to go to the theater to try on a new vision of things, to open up to events or experiences beyond the norm.”

Through Theatre de la Ville’s long list of Pakistani, Indian and African performers, Western audiences have been introduced to new norms.

The concert is in conjunction with the opening of Iranian photographer Jamshid Bayrami’s exhibit, Haj Harmony.  A photojournalist, Bayrami has covered the Iran-Iraq war and Middle East politics for The Economist, Time, and Agence France Presse.  He won the Grand Prize at the Fajr Festival and a UNESCO World Prize for photography.  He is represented by the London gallery Xerxes Art.

The exhibit opening and concert will be this Friday, May 25th at 7pm at La Fontaine Center for Contemporary Art.  The exhibition and concert will be 25bd and if you include dinner around the fountain, the cost is 35bd.

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