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Publication - Dr Michael Ellison

    Light into Shadows


    Ellison, M, 2016, ‘Light into Shadows’. Grenoble Festival


    Light into Shadows was initially inspired by the ideas of the 12th century Iranian Kurd Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, whose philosophy of the was influenced by both sufic precursors and by ancient thought of Zorastrian Persia and Egypt. In it, Suhrawardi posits one metaphor strikingly resonant with that of certain later Romantic German philosophers–in which a ‘Yemen’ or ‘orient of Light’ stands as a contrasting beacon to a darkened occident. “Humankind lives in the Gurbat al-gharbiyya, the ‘western exile’, fallen into a well, he longs for home, for Yemen, Arabia Felix, and tries to find this radiant place during his sojourn on earth” (Annemarie Schimmel). Playing with this idea, the deep sounds of the cello and bass clarinet shroud the Turkish ud and ney, whose emotional sounds emerge from this rhythmic, darkened point of origin, contesting musical ground in a back-and-forth pull while striving towards passage into musical illumination.

    Full details in the University publications repository