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The London Premier of Zendeh Delan® ‘Awakened Hearts’.
MTO Sufi Society’s Zendeh Delan® Ensemble presented Sufi Music, Zekr and Sama for the first time in
London at Sadler’s Wells. The event took place on Sunday 30th March 2014 and was comprised of a two hour
programme depicting the spiritual dimensions of Sufism through a fusion of Persian and Western Classical
Music, Zekr (chants) and the spiritual movements of Sama.
On 30th of March, Sadler’s Wells was buzzing with excitement as people greeted friends and awaited the bell
for Zendeh Delan®. Many people had travelled from Italy and throughout Europe. Others had made the trip
from the U.S.A. especially for the Zendeh Delan® event. It had captured the imagination of every age and
nationality. Zendeh Delan® was set to be a memorable evening.
As the audience quietened before the curtain was raised, the theatre was brimming full with over 1400 people.
It had been a sell out for weeks and the lucky ones had managed to secure their seats.
The opening scene revealed a stage full of musicians, choirs and Sama practitioners, over fifty individuals.
Much love and care had gone into the preparation of the stage set.
The stage twinkled with rows of candles. Pillars on each side were inscribed with Sufi calligraphy. Lustrous
orchids climbed around the pillars. Beautiful awe- inspiring images of the cosmos and nature floated across
There was an air of solemnity about the gathering and a sense of epic eras.
The Saleks in each ring of the circle expressed a range of movements all relating to the call and subsequent
growth of love and closeness with the Beloved.
As the music swelled, the Saleks would move more and more rapidly until there was a break marked by a
It was intense, spectacular and very intimate. On the backdrop, the sayings and poetry were written in
English thus giving everyone the possibility of understanding what was being conveyed.
The musical accompaniment was truly spell-binding, blending traditional and contemporary Sufi music.
Traditional instruments such as the Santour, Daf, Tar, Oud and Kamanche gave the music a wonderful
resonance. These were complemented by a range of modern instruments. Together this created a unique sound,
with a richness, lightness and depth which enhanced and interwove beautifully with the Zekr (chants). It was
amazing to see so many young musicians on stage; some were in their early teens, yet fully proficient
Towards the end, everyone from the ensemble sat on the floor in a circle and joined in singing the Zekr. It was
very joyful and liberating.
This major event definitely succeeded in its aim ‘to educate and present the beauties of Sufism through the
highly elaborate forms of Music, Zekr and Sama.’
Leaving the theatre, there was a real sense of awe in the audience:
‘Beyond words..’ ‘It takes you to another place..’ ‘Very beautiful.’ ‘I don’t want to leave.’
Others were full of energy.
‘Fantastic.’ ‘What an amazing night!’ ‘I wanted to sing with them!’ Such a highly-polished presentation.’
Outside the air was soft and the lights strung on the trees along the road sparkled and gave a festive air. People
stayed around a long time talking about their experience.
No doubt there were also many lights twinkling in hearts……
For more information about Zendeh Delan® and Sufism please visit the following websites:
To contact us please email: firstname.lastname@example.org