Grammy-nominated classical Indian legend, composer and sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan and renowned Iranian-American vocalist Katayoun Goudarzi give a new urgency to the age-old love poems of Rumi on their latest album This Pale released today (October 1) globally. Iranian ney player Shaho Andalibi and 5th-generation tabla player of the Thirakwa lineage Shariq Mustafa are also a part of the album.
In these dark days of stark societal uncertainty and pronounced cultural intolerance, could the illuminating words of the world’s greatest poet and champion of tolerance and love inspire dialogue and spark a constructive collective conversation? This question is earnestly and eloquently explored by a culturally diverse group of musicians and close friends in This Pale. Across the tracks, listeners will hear and experience a different spectrum of emotions from joy to sadness, to grief and love, as Rumi’s words progress across the arc of human passions.
The artistes have forged an unlikely ensemble that has defied the limits of both lockdown and cultural differences to bring a new urgency to Rumi’s centuries-old words of wisdom. This Pale is a fresh multicultural take on an old tale.
As a seasoned vocalist, adept at maximsing the musical qualities of classical Persian poetry, Goudarzi has always been fascinated by the fact that a poet from a completely different country who lived, loved, and composed almost 800 years ago, could be the best-selling poet in the United States for nearly 20 years running.
The ecstatic poems of Rumi, a 13th-century Persian mystic bard and Sufi master, have always stood for tolerance, love, and inclusiveness.