Archive for April, 2015

Playing at the Kinbuck Beer Festival

April 25, 2015

Just back from playing piano (electric) at the Kinbuck Beer Festival. Kinbuck is a small village just north of here, and they hold an annual beer festival, which I’ve played at before. But this time I played solo piano for about 50 minutes. A beer festival audience is not one given to subtlety, so I played a mix of old blues numbers and fast standards, with lots of bass and decoration. They seemed to like it! Maybe I’ll get another gig or two from it…though I can play with bit of subtlety as well.


I have just discovered Rumi…

April 10, 2015

I read a review of something that mentioned Rumi, and I recalled that he was a 13th century mystic poet, whose name  I had heard of somewhere, but knew nothing at all about. And I recalled that 13th century Persia  was a very cultivated and civilised place, with a history much longer than Dunblane in Scotland, where I’m writing this.

So I ordered the book that was mentioned, and eventually it arrived. It’s been sitting winking at me for most of the week, as I’ve struggled with marking assignments (or, enjoyed playing jazz…). And so this evening, tired out, and after a little wine, I finally opened it.

The effect was electric.

I read the poem “Sexual urgency, what a woman’s laughter can do, and the nature of true virility”. I had to read it aloud.  I thought through the images. I read it again, and saw more layers of images.

Finally I thought: I’ll write a blog about this, but before I do, I’ll look for “I have just discovered Rumi” on Google. There was only 10 results, but I knew I was not alone. I looked for the tile of the poem I named, and I found many copies of it. I was definitely not alone.

I haven’t read any more yet, but this was a teaching story by a Sufi master, set to delicate verse I suspect in Persian, and set to very effective verse in Coleman Bark’s translation. It made me think of Idries Shah’s books that I read nearly forty years ago, and that led me to reading teaching stories from the cultures, for there are many in other religions.

I shall come back for more.