Artistic director – Peeter Vähi
The first ever concentrated show of oriental music in Estonia, a tradition going back to the year 1992, has brought the most authentic performers from India, Siberia, Middle East, Central Asia, Far East, and South East Asia. It is certainly a leading musical event in the Baltic States where music lovers can enjoy performers like Hariprasad Chaurasia, ensemble Kodō, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Jivan Gasparyan, ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu, Alim Qasimov, Burhan Öçal, Sevara Nazarkhan, Gyuto and Gyume Buddhist monks, Wu Man, etc. Keep a close eye on our website and advertising – the show goes on.
● Mon Jan 23th 2006 at 7 pm, Savoy Theatre, Helsinki (in co-operation with Surya RY)
● Wed Jan 25th 2006 at 7 pm, Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn
● Thu Jan 26th 2006 at 7 pm, Great Guild, Riga, Latvia (in co-operation with Riga Music)
● Sat Jan 28th, Big Concert Hall Oktyabrsky (in co-operation with APosition)
GUEUMHWE, the traditional orchestra from South Korea
Tour of Oriental New Year
Under patronage of the Institute of Korean Traditional Culture
Instrumental music, songs and royal dances from the period of Chosun dynasty (founded in 1392 by king Dae-Jo).
Performers: Kim Joongsup (artistic director), Kwak Seunghun, Mun Sangsuk, Yoon SeokjJa, Kim Jinsun, Nam Jinsun, Bark Sunyoung, Kim Aekyung, Yoon Soojin, Lee Minhui, Do Hyunok, Kang Youngja, Chae Oksun, Nam Kiseon, Lim Heeyoung, Jeong Sunghui, Kim Yura, Kim Insook.
Program: Muryeonggok (military music usually performed by taepyongso-flute, yonggo-drum, nagak-oboe, nabal-trumpet, jabara-cymbals, and jing-gong); Cheongseonggok (piece for danso-flute); Gagok (song based on 45-character poetry, accompanied by 7 instruments); Chunaengjeon (court dance created by the crown prince Hyo-Myong); Hahyeondodeuri (instrumental piece of the scholars of the late Chosun dynasty, originally Buddhist vocal music); Suyeonjang (origin from China and employed as court music in Korea in the Middle Ages); Sanjo (music for solo gayageum-zither); Seryeongsan (a part of Yeongsanhoesang), Gayageum Byeongchang (originates from the 19th cent masters of 12-stringed zither); Salpuri (the climax of shaman rituals, means literally ’to wash away evil spirits’); Samul Nori (traditional percussion music that has won international acclaim).
fragm “Korean Royal Music”, 92 sec, mp3
video-clip “Korean Royal Music”, 20 sec
Special thanks: Seo Jinseok
● Mon May 8th 2006 at 7 pm, Estonian National Opera, Tallinn
SUFI MUSIC & DERVISH DANCE
18-member ensemble “Konya Türk Tasavvuf Müziği Topluluğu” (Turkey)
Artistic director – Ömer Faruk Belviranli
A joint project of Orient Festival and Turkish Days in Tallinn; in co-operation with Turkish Embassy in Tallinn, TELLFA, and the Estonian National Opera
Sufism or tasawwuf, as it is called in Arabic, is generally understood by scholars and Sufis to be the inner, mystical, esoteric, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. In spite of its many variations and voluminous expressions, the essence of Sufi practice is quite simple. It is that the Sufi surrenders to God, in love, over and over; which involves embracing with love at each moment the content of one’s consciousness (one’s perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, as well as one’s sense of self) as gifts of God or, more precisely, as manifestations of God. Ṭarīqah (Sufi order) may be associated with Shi’a, Sunni and other currents of Islam, or a combination of multiple traditions. Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the 8th cent, but adherents are now found around the world.
Sufism has produced a large body of poetry in Turkish, Persian and Urdu languages, which notably include the works of Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Celâladin Mehmet Rumi in Turkish, 1207–1273 AD, a poet, lawyer, and Sufi theologian), as well as numerous traditions of devotional dance, such as Sufi whirling, and music, such as qawwali.
The Mevlevi, one of the most well-known of the Sufi orders, was founded by the followers of Rūmī in 1273 AD in Konya, present-day Turkey. They are also known as the whirling dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling – zikr (remembrance of Allah) in the form of a dance and music ceremony called the sema. The Mevlevi were a well established Sufi order in the Ottoman empire, and many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The centre for the Mevlevi order was in Konya, in Turkey, where Rūmī is buried. There is also a Mevlevi monastery in İstanbul, where the sema ceremony is performed and accessible to the public.
The practice of Sufi whirling, is a twirling meditation that originated among the ancient Indian mystics and Turkish Sufis, which is still practiced by the dervishes (members of Sufi ascetic religious tarikat or “confraternities” known for their extreme poverty and austerity) of the Mevlevi order. The sema represents a mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to “perfect”. Turning towards the truth, the follower grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives to the “perfect”. He then returns from this spiritual journey as a man who has reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation.
Following a recommended fast of several hours, Sufi whirlers begin with hands crossed onto shoulders and may return their hands to this position if they feel dizzy. They rotate on their left feet in short twists, using the right foot to drive their bodies around the left foot. The left foot is like an anchor to the ground, so that if the whirler loses his or her balance, he or she can think of their left foot, direct attention towards it and regain balance back. The whirling is done on the spot in an anti-clockwise direction, with the right arm held high, palm upwards, and the left arm held low, palm downwards. The body of the whirler is meant to be soft with eyes open, but unfocused so that images become blurred and flowing. A period of slow rotation is followed by a gradual build up of speed over the next half an hour. Then the whirling takes over. When the whirler is whirling so fast that he or she cannot remain upright, his or her body will fall by itself. The whirler does not consciously make the fall a decision or attempt to arrange the landing in advance; if his or her body is soft he should land softly – and the earth will absorb the energy. If the idea of letting oneself fall is too much for the practitioner then the whirler should allow himself to slow down very slowly. If the whirler has been whirling for an hour then the process of slowing down might take some time. Once the whirler has fallen, the second part of the meditation starts – the unwhirling. Sometime and somewhere, the whirler rolls onto his stomach immediately so that his bare navel is in contact with the earth. The practitioner feels his body blending into the earth like a small child pressed to his mother’s breasts. After the meditation whirlers try to be as quiet and inactive as possible.
Konya Türk Tasavvuf Müziği Topluluğu, fragm, 110 sec, mp3
… kultuuripäevadele pani väärilise punkti müstiliselt kõlava nimega ansambel “Konya Türk Tasavvuf Müziği Topluluğu”, kelle esituses võis nautida traditsioonilist sufi muusikat. /…/ Kõlapildiliselt osutus ettekantu veenvaks tõendiks selle kohta, et mingis mõttes on siiski olemas selline asi nagu “orient”. … puhastumisena oli mõeldud ka järgnenud dervisite pöörlev tants, milles keerutamise kaudu esile kutsutud religioosse ekstaasi kaudu saavutatakse ühinemine jumalikuga. … jäänuks üldmulje väga mõjus, kui seda poleks rikkunud “hästikasvatatud” publiku ovatsioonid, mis sõitsid tähendusrikkalt helisema jäänud vaikusele brutaalselt sisse. Hästi panite, sufid! (Kaur Garšnek, Sirp, 19.05.06, Estonia, whole articel)
● Tue May 9th, 2006 at 7 pm, Concert House Kultura, Jelgava, Latvia (in co-operation with Jelgava City Government)
Wed May 10th, 2006 at 7 pm, Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn
Thu May 11th, 2006, at 8 pm, White Hall, Helsinki, Finland (in co-operation with Surya Ry)
Fri May 12th, 2006 at 7 pm NorrlandsOperan, Umeå, Sweden (in co-operation with BotniaMusic)
TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONKS OF GYUTO TANTRIC MONASTERY
Tashi Gyaltso, Lhakpa Tsering, Ngawang Rabgyal, Kunsang Rapden, Tenzin Chodak, Tenpa Choden
Under the patronage of His Holiness the XIV Dalai-lama
To preserve the most advanced and esoteric teachings, the Gyuto Tantric University was founded in 1474 by Gyuchen Kunga Dondrub, a principal disciple of His Holiness the 1st Dalai-lama. The practice in the monastery was based on the contemplation and the rituals of Guhyasamāja tantra. The original crew of 32 monks lived and breathed the universe of this tantra and its mandala of bliss-void-invisible. In particular, a style of overtonal guttural chanting was developed, in which each monk sings a chord containing 2 or 3 tones simultaneously. The men’s voices are pitched so low (A of contraoctave) that one wonders if this can really be human beings singing. This remarkable, transcendental sound is thought to arise only from the throat of a person who has realised selfless wisdom. This kind of music emanates from samādhi (a trance-like state of pure consciousness) and is capable of communicating that samādhi to the audience.
In addition to their monastic activity Gyuto monks have won renown as musicians working together with names like Philip Glass, Kitaro, etc. Discography: Freedom Chants from the Roof of the World, Voice of the Tantra, Sacred Chants of Tibet, The Perfect Jewel, Music of Tibet, Chant Retrospective 2000, Gyuto Tantric Choir, Tibetan Tantric Choir.
Program – Tibetan Buddhist chants: Mahākāla, Yamāntaka and Guhyasamāja ceremonies; Long Life prayer.
Mahākāla is the most important protector-deity of Tantric Buddhism, the wrathful form of compassion-bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. During the ceremony, the monks invite Mahākāla to manifest himself before them, they make mental offerings, praise him, and commission him to safeguard all beings.
In the Yamāntaka ritual, the monks identify themselves with the divine “Terminator of death”. During the visualization, they enter his sacred mandala-palace, where they become channels for Yamāntaka’s stream of life-giving blessings to all beings. Although Yamāntaka manifests a wrathful, triumphal appearance, his essence is actually the gentle Mañjuśrī, the bodhisattva of wisdom. This recitation is believed to have the power to exorcise the human afflictions of anger, avarice, lust, and envy, and transform them into creative wisdom.
The practice of Guhyasamāja has particular significance to the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, and also to the lineage of the Dalai-Lamas. Guhyasamāja Tantra (‘assembly of secrets’) is probably the earliest of Buddhist Tantric scriptures, attributed to Asanga, a Yogacara master of 4th cent. The Tantra states that – if psychic powers (siddhis) are to be acquired – women must always be associated with those who attempt to reach this goal. Such attainment of psychic powers and training in magic is one of the main topics of the Guhyasamāja, and some of the magic spells and rituals are clearly ancient ones in that they are also known in cultures the world over. The text also speaks of the virtues inherent in desire and sensory enjoyment, the well-being of body and mind, and of realizing the “Buddha nature” through the union of female and male. It differs from many later texts in not condemning male ejaculation but says that “when the diamond (lingam) is connected to the lotus (yoni) in the union of both polarities, one worships the Buddhas and the diamond beings with the drops of one’s semen.” We also read that the male adept, or yogi, lets his semen flow out continuously in the form of mandalas. During the chanting, the practitioners identify themselves with Guhyasamāja.
Oriental atmosphere, prayer flags, cushions, incense, etc. Live recording in Estonia Concert Hall.
Mahākāla ceremony, fragm, 114 sec, mp3
Listen to the whole concert
video-clip of Sufi music and Gyuto monks, 20 sec
Download: program-booklet in Estonian, 20 pages, pdf, 454 KB
Download: Gyuto Tantric Choir in Sweden, photo by P Vähi, 300 dpi, 1290 KB
Special thanks: Doboom Tulku, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Urmas Sõõrumaa, Inessa Savitskaja
Tõtt öelda polnud kuue Gyuto kloostri munga kahetunnine esinemine ei kontsert ega show-laadne etendus, vaid nelja tantristliku rituaali läbiviimine, mille eesmärgiks kõrgemate meeleseisundite saavutamine. Mitte esteetiline vaatemäng või − hoidku jumal(used)! − eksootiline meelelahutus. /…/ Eriline koht on sellisel kurguhäälsel laulmisel raskesti kirjeldatavatel sagedusmpdulatsioonidel: eeslauljast munga kõris olnuks justkui mingi elektrooniline filter, millega sai põhitoonile lisaks ka ülemhelisid “peale keerata”. /…/ See-eest kolmveerandtunnine Mahākāla rituaal, mille üks tähendustest on aja kosmilisse loomusesse sulandumine, avas lisaks tiibeti kultusmuusika vokaalsele küljele ka instrumentaalse pooluse. /…/ Ütlematagi selge, et tiibeti esoteerilise budismi tähendusväljadesse mittepühendunuil on neid rituaale raske mõista, vaatamata /…/ asjatundlikule kavaraamatule. (Igor Garšnek, Sirp, 19.05.06, Estonia, whole article)
● Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 7 pm Estonian Theatre of Drama, Tallinn
KOREAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE
Sohn In-young NOW Dance Company (South Korea)
Korean dance performance includes court dances performed at the royal palaces to entertain the kings and the queens or to welcome the foreign envoys, folk dances prevalent among the commoners, and Buddhist ritual dances performed at the temples.
Performers: Seng Aesoon (dance, drum), Shin Jujin (dance, drum), Nam Jungeun (dance, drum), Kim Minji (dance, drum), Kim Jieun (dance, drum), Kim Byungwha (dance), Kim Jaehee (dance), Sohn Hyungju (dance), Sohn Inyoung (dance, janggu-drum, reconstruction of traditional dances), Jo Jeonhhee (vocal, gayageum-zither)
Program: Kumjing Mu (a dance of religious rituals and banqueting of the foreign envoys), Miyal Halmi & Gaksi (a part of masked dance), Herjung (deceptive appearance), Suryumu (weeping willow dance originates from the Yi dynasty), Gayageum Byeongchang (a song originates from the 19th cent masters, accompanied by the 12-stringed gayageum-zither and janggu-drum), Gabae (harvest moon festival), Buchaechum (a dance with fans), Hallyangmu (an improvised dance), Dogkebe Chum (goblin dance), Dung-dung Dong-dong (represents the cheerful drum sounds), Nongak (farmers’ dance and percussion music)
Special thanks: Embassy of Korea in Helsinki, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Peeter Salmela, Priit Maran, Pille Roosi
See also: Orient festivals, Orient presents in 2010, Orient 2011, Orient 2009, Orient presents in 2008, Orient 2007, Orient 2005, festival archives, Orient in Palmyra (Voices from the Stars Above the Desert), The Path to the Heart of Asia (CD recorded with featuring musicians of Orient 1992)