Today marks the passing of one of India’s most celebrated musicians, Mr. Ravi Shankar, sitar player extraordinaire and father of two phenomenal female musicians, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. This tune, “Svara Mantra”, was introduced to me many moons ago and is my favourite of his, although his repertoire of music is extensive. Farewell to another talented member of humanity.
"You can crush the flowers, but you can’t delay spring." A stencil created by Bahia Shehab, an Egyptian artist, who spray paints her images all over Cairo. This quote is one from the great Pablo Neruda, translated into Arabic.
The people of this world are like three butterflies in front of a candle’s flame.
The first one went closer and said “I know about love.”
The second one touched the flame lightly with his wings and said “I know how love’s fire can burn.”
The third one threw himself into the heart of the flame and was consumed.
He alone knows what true love is.
|—||Bab ‘Aziz the film, supposedly with its origins in the poetry of Rumi.|
A wonderful flamenco-style tune by the name of “Evlerinin Önü Boyalı Direk” brought to us by Öykü - Berk, a Turkish duo that specialises in performing flamenco but to Turkish lyrics, heightening the already present oriental edge that flamenco is famous for. Love the fusion! (They are singing about love, in case you were wondering.)
Made with Paper on my new iPad. Thinking about special people.
|—||Margaret Gardiner, from her 1969 publication, “How to Lose Less Money Raising Horses”. This was also on the front of one of my birthday cards this year.|
"Calle Melancolia" by Carmen Paris. Originally performed by Joaquin Sabina, a Spanish poet, songwriter and singer who was inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda, among others. Carmen Paris is also Spanish and did a cover of this song several years ago. Her music is a fusion of flamenco, jazz and Andalusian flavours. The songs’ lyrics attest to the power of nostalgia and melancholy. ¡Olé!
|—||Nelson Mandela, as quoted by Deepak Chopra in a recent interview with the June 2012 Oprah Magazine.|
A delightful collection of music collected by NPR’s Steve Inskeep as he travels through North Africa. The short article provides you a link to an ongoing playlist of all of the songs. And his choices are not limited only to modern-day tunes; he even has Abdelhalim Hafez on there. I’m so pleased at the exposure that Arabic music will get out of this!
A woman holds her inked finger up after voting in Egypt’s November 2010 parliamentary elections in Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt. Posted in honour of the elections taking place in Egypt yesterday and today. May the best man win!
Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.
|—||Mother Teresa, charity worker extraordinaire.|
"Mohammad" by Oumeima El Khalil and Marcel Khalifé. El Khalil is part of Khalifé’s "Mayadine Ensemble" that accompanies him on his world tours - her voice is full of clarity, particularly as she sings this poem written by Mahmoud Darwish entitled "Mohammad", written about a young Palestinian boy who wants to escape his troubles. Khalifé himself is a world-renowned Lebanese composer and oud player. Most of his work is fusion music, as his son, a key part of his ensemble, is a stunning jazz piano player, but this song stands out as one of his more traditional compositions.