Sufi Festival: Concert by Hu Dost, Fire Zikr
I love the Sufi Festival that is held in the area every year; this year, running Sept. 28-Oct. 1, is the ninth annual one. Though I only took a few shots at the nighttime zikr (see below), you can see pictures that I took at the 2004 and 2003 festivals (including the two here, dervish Aziz Abbatiello whirling and a poster of Rumi [Mevlana Jalal-e-Din Mevlavi Rumi]) that I took in 2003). I think I've been attending since 1999 or 2000.
Tonight was Rumi's birthday, and they had a very interesting band, Hu Dost, playing some more traditional Sufi music as well as some of their contemporary compositions. I loved the voice of the lead singer, Moksha Sommer - it reminded me of the voice of Natalie Merchant, a singer whose work with 10,000 Maniacs I relish. There was middle eastern drumming, an amazing flute player, and even a little bit of sitar. I liked the music so much that I bought their CD that was just released today, Seedling.
We heard that an unscheduled zikr, or prayers and group dancing of peace, was being held around a campfire afterwards, so we joined in for an hour or so till almost 1a. It was resonant, as zikrs are meant to be, and special for me by fireside. [We were planning on going to the festival's concluding zikr on Saturday night, but my wife ended up out of energy after our other events on Saturday - alas!]