Zendeh delan literally translates to “awakened hearts.” The ensemble is made up of students of Sufism who have come together to learn and share their experiences through music and to collectively create contemporary Sufi music, under the guidance of Professor Nader Angha, the Sufi Master of MTO Shahmaghsoudi® School of Islamic Sufism®.
Although deeply rooted in traditional Sufi melodies and Persian musical modes, the creativity of MTO Zendeh Delan® embraces a wealth of contemporary musical genres, harmoniously blending popular and classical styles with influences from all over the world.
The MTO Zendeh Delan® ensemble presented Sufi music, zekr and sama for the first time in London at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. The event took place in March 2014 and consisted 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.
The 1500-person audience traveled from throughout Europe and the US especially for this momentous event. The iconic theatre was transformed for one night, in remembrance of the Beloved. On stage sat an ensemble of fifty with a range of instruments from both the East and West.
Throughout the night, the words of the Sufi masters came to life. The Zendeh Delan® members presented the intricate forms of zekr and sama, each of which depicted a certain state achieved in the spiritual path of Sufism. Speakers read explanations about the motions and shared the profound teachings of Sufism through poetry.
The lyrics of the zekr were from the writings of such renowned Sufi masters as Hazrat Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha and Hazrat Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha. These Sufi Masters are experts in literature, the sciences, and metaphysics.
Their works in prose and poetry contain a treasure of wisdom, insights and loving guidance. The night included a carefully selected range from many of the eminent Sufi Masters including Hazrat Jalaleddin Ali Mir Abolfazl Angha and Hazrat Mir Ghotbeddin Mohammad Angha.
The zekr illustrated the spiritual stages of the development of the salek (seeker). The remarkable rhythmic, swaying movements of the singers reflected deep symbolism regarding the inner flow of energy. Each person has powerful internal resources which, when activated, open the individual to experience more of life and its infinite wonders. The choirs and soloists were outstanding, singing in a heart-felt manner with delicacy, warmth and vigour.
The musical accompaniment was truly spell-binding, blending traditional and contemporary Sufi music. Traditional instruments such as the santour, daf, tar, and kamanche gave the music a wonderful resonance. These were complemented by a range of modern instruments like the violin and guitar. Together this created a unique sound, with a richness, lightness and depth which enhanced and harmonized beautifully with the zekr (chants).