Music of the Whirling Dervishes: 800 Years of Mevlana Rumi (ARC Music EUCD2086, 2007)
Some music, like movie soundtracks, is meant to be heard along with a film. Likewise, the music by Gulizar Turkish Music Ensemble is meant to accompany the hypnotic Whirling Dervishes.
The Gulizar Turkish Music Ensemble performs Mevlevi Ayins with the traditional whirling dervish ritual to mark the 800th anniversary of the birth of the great Sufi master, Mevlana Rumi.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) is one of the greatest sufi saints and poets. Rumi is known as the sultan of the sages (siilfanu ‘l-ulema). Mevlana means "our master" and Rumi means one who is from Anatolia. Mevlevi is the person who follows the inner teaching of Rumi.
Rumi’s message is clear and penetrating: it is based on love for God and mankind. His message can be seen as a commentary of the Koran and is filled with the love of God and the Prophet Muhammad.
Thanks to his teachings emphasizing tolerance and openness, love and compassion he is well-known not only in the Turkish and Islamic communities but also in other parts of the world.
The Mevlevi Order is based on the principles of Rumi’s interpretation of Sufism. The greatest work of Rumi is his poetry book, Malhnawi, that Rumi himself calls an interpretation of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. As a voice of the divine truth at the door of the Prophet, Rumi invites people of all backgrounds to that truth:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire,
come even though you have broken your vows a thousand limes,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
The Mevlevi path has four attributes: love and ecstasy, music and whirling. For more than seven centuries the Mevlevi Order has represented the climax of the Islamic civilization. Mevlevis were the primary actors in shaping the Ottoman culture, and especially the Ottoman music. The Mevlevi convents were locations of spiritual training as well as art academies. Rumi’s message is as novel as it was 800 years ago. He remains new and fresh because he represents the unchanging truth for changing times.
Extensive information in the booklet on Mevlana Rumi, Whirling Dervishes Rituals and musical terms.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.