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Rumi Returning
Mystic Music Festival

Rumi Returning image
Rumi's Shrine in Konya, Turkey

Kell and Cynthia were invited by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to return to Konya, Turkey to film the 6th Annual Mystic Music Festival held in Konya, Turkey to celebrate Rumi's birthday, Sep. 30.  Inspirational world musicians such as the Namaad Ensemble, playing classical Persian music and singing Rumi poetry in Farsi, and ORUPAAP, an indigenous Sudanese dance troupe, are featured in "Globalized Soul," our new documentary about the global spirituality that is transforming our world.

Read the biographies of some of our commentators and musicians for "Globalized Soul." Learn even more about this new film and see a Preview of montages from "Globalized Soul."

Mystic Music
Kell filming early murals of aurochs (wild cattle), deer, and humans at Catal Huyuk, southeast of Konya, Turkey, at some of the oldest ruins in the world. Built about 6,500 B. C., Catal Huyuk is one of the first towns on record. The community was a peaceful, agrarian society, some saying that was because it was matriarchal. There is evidence (graves, shrines, figurines) of a strong religion and a reverence for the Great Goddess. Astonishingly, there appears to have been no royalty, no religious hierarchy, and no social distinction on account of gender.
Mystic Music
Kourosh Taghavi of the Namâd Ensemble, a Iranian-American group that connects contemporary audiences with classical Persian music. Here he sits by sacred caves near Konya. The Namâd Ensemble's performance, featuring Khosro Ansari singing poems of Rumi in Farsi, was a hit at the Mystic Music Festival in Konya (September '09), which Kell and Cynthia filmed. "Mysticism is nothing more than an inward journey," Kourosh told us.
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Members of the Yasawi Ensemble of Kazakhstan, enchanted the audience with their a cappella singing of Sufi devotionals and impressed everyone with their piety, sincerity, and joy. They named their group in honor of Ahmad Yasawi (1093-1166), born in Sayram (now in Kazakhstan, where he is much revered). Yasawi was a Turkic poet and Sufi, the first to compose poetry in a Turkic dialect and a pioneer of mysticism in the Turkic-speaking world.
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Cynthia with Stephen Affear Ochalla, founder and choreographer, and Safa Osman Awad, dancer, with ORUPAAP, African Performing Arts Institute, the Sudanese dance troupe that performs Sufi music and songs.  Their drumming was heart-thumping and the energy of their dramatic dance, mesmerizing.
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The Whirling Dervishes perform the Sema in honor of Rumi's 802nd birthday (Sep. 30, '09).
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Cynthia in the rose garden behind Rumi's shrine. When Rumi's family first arrived in Konya, Rumi's father requested," Bury me in the rose garden." Rumi would later write many profound poems about roses, a symbol of Sufism, and other flowers.
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Kell filming at Rumi's tomb. We were told that we were the first Western filmmakers to be allowed to film this close to Rumi's tomb and to film the dervishes whirling nearby.