July 10, 2017

Dr Who Am I and the Zen Trails of Hafiz - the studio album. (out now)

This link to a 60 minute digital solo album on Bandcamp is now live. Dr Who Am I and The Zen Trails of Hafiz.

 It is a 21st C take on Dante's Divine Comedy.

Track listings




Meet Bond. Adam in a Bond.  (Agent 00Heaven.) Licenced to save. You will need him in the fourth heaven.

Can he get astro knight grail pilot Dr Who Am I and  grail navigator Lt O Who Ru through hell and up to the seventh heaven before Kuber destroys the cosmos? 

The album brings you the full story in 16 ghazals lovingly crafted into sound adventures. As first performed in the Norwich  underground, July 2015. Now available in its finished studio form to the entire cosmos!

"6 Degrees of Separation: 7 Degrees of Love. Lyric Poetry After Auschwitz" (ghazals, sonnets and villanelles) Sheriar Press.

2000 views of this post already!
January 31 2019
Dr Who Am I and The Zen Trails of Hafiz (theDante-esque adventure described in Part B of the Book) is the soul's long journey home through hell on earth and the seven heavens to God. It has been made into a musical album with 24 page lyric booklet, featuring the poet and singer-songwriter Gabriella Tal.  Like the book, it is called "6 Degrees of Separation; 7 Degrees of Love"  

Buy the book here  
Publisher's Facebook story about it here

What is the book about? 
Nothing. And Everything.  
And the long love-longing to get from one to the other.
All the poems in the book are written for singing or some kind of musical performance.

"If God did not love music, the world could never have come into being;
And if men did not love music they would never get to God." (Francis Brabazon)

Part A - The Calling

Beyond DoingBeyond Doing "You say Heavenly Moon, I say Beyond Doing" Poet and singer performing different sections of this ghazal in different ways.

The Word of the Street and the Love Craft (a rough mix)

Leila and Majnun; Lancelot and Guinevere

One of my more avid readers once declared that she prefers love stories of married people to tales of, in whatever sense, extra-marital or courtly love. Part A certainly beats a heart drum for explicitly married love poetry but my belief is that Leila and Majnun (and the Western, less obviously spiritual versions Lancelot and Guinevere) represent the longing for the unattainable 'other' half that marriage channels. Just because we spend every day with a person does not make them any less of quest to achieve: 'knowing' in the (ironically termed) Biblical sense is only a small part of really knowing. The historical place of courtly love for the nobility (ie love achieved outside of a marriage primarily a land transaction) gave way around the time of the Reformation to a culture interested in love stories of married people and in practical terms women's long journey in the West from sex/love objects to equals and business partners began about then. But if you're looking for passionate and mystical love in Milton's married (and pre-Fall 'knowing') Adam and Eve, good luck. "He for God only; she for the God in him." Give me Dante's transcendent Beatrice every time.

Part B - Dr Who Am I and The Zen Trails of Hafiz

'New mezzo del caiman di rostra vita.'  
Taking my Dante pastiche to Florence:
Whoops! Hell 1 and Hell 2 are in the wrong order and it should be Perseus not Jason on p.43. 
Perseus in the Piazza della Signori in Florence. 
All of Part B of this book was performed live by heart under St Benedict's St in Norwich in July 2015. (see pics)

The poet as Dr Who Am I in the stage show of the book.

Apart from two villanelles, the book is made up of ghazals and sonnets. Here's one of the 'Hell' villanelles-

Some video and audio versions of the "Zen Trails of Hafiz" ghazals sung by Gabriella Tal:

Hear a musical version of pp. 40-41 sung by Gabriella Tal 

Watch a video version