The Persian Sufi poet Jalaladin Rumi has had a great influence upon music, dance, poetry and philosophy in several countries. An active theologist, mystic and poet in the 13th century, Rumi left behind a large number of written material that has been a source of inspiration for mystics, musicians and other creative souls to this day. This is manifested once again when Norwegian composer Trygve Seim and his ensemble perform their Rumi Songs – a symbiosis of Rumi’s beautiful poetry and Scandinavian contemporary music.
Since the early 1990s, saxophone player Trygve Seim has distinguished himself as both a composer and an improvising musician, alone and as part of a wide range of jazz constellations. He studied Arab music in Cairo, and got aquainted with Rumi’s work when the late soprano Anne-Lise Berntsen commissioned music to some of his poems in the mid 2000s. Rumi Songs is a continuation of this work, now being commissioned and sung by the excellent vocalist Tora Augestad. Frode Haltli plays the accordion, Svante Henryson plays the cello – and Norwegian poet Erling Kittelsen will perform some of Rumi’s poems as a spoken-word reading. Rumi Songs is an unique collaboration between leading Norwegian performers in their homage to a poet whose legacy stretches over several centuries, many borders and countless lifeworks.
Tekst: Kristian Krogh-Sørensen