THE AFFABLE ENIGMA
for SATB chorus a cappella
Music by: Danial Sheibani
Text by: Rumi
The ancient poetry of Rumi inspires The Affable Enigma by Danial Sheibani, a mystical ode to celestial entities that reassure newly passed souls in their passage to heaven.
Jalāl ad-Din Muhammad Balkhī [Rūmī] (1207-1273)
ORIGINAL TEXT (Farsi)
Az in pasti be suye āsemān sho Ravānat shād bādā, khosh ravān sho
Ze shahre portab o larze bejasti Be shādi sākene dārolamān
Agar shod nakhshetan naghāsh rābāsh Vagar virān shod in tan jomle jān sho
Vagar ruy az ajal shod zaferāni Moghime lālezār o arghavān sho
Vagar darhāye rāhat bar to bastand Bia az rāhe bām o nardebān sho
Vagar tanhāshodi az yār o as-hāb Be yariye khodāh sāheb gherān sho
Vagar az āb o az nān door māndi, Chonān sho, ghute jānhāvo chenān sho
From these depths depart towards heaven;
may your soul be happy, journey joyfully.
You have escaped from the city full of fear and trembling;
happily become a resident of the Abode of Security
If the body’s image has gone, await the image-maker; if the
body is utterly ruined, become all soul.
If your face has become saffron pale through death, become a
dweller among tulip beds and Judas trees.
If the doors of repose have been barred to you, come, depart
by way of the roof and the ladder.
If you are alone from Friends and companions, by the help of
God become a saheb-qeran. [lord of happy circumstance].
If you have been secluded from water and bread, like bread
become the food of the souls, and so become!
VIEW PERUSAL SCORE:
The poem, Ode 2180, speaks about a newly passed soul who is on its way to heaven. Rumi wishes them well with his prayers. The grand-like sections of this piece set depictions of communication with celestial entities. The use of wind blowing conjures imagery of a mystical yet comforting forest that awaits newly passed souls. In the final return, whistles are used to symbolize the songs sung by birds in the mystical forest. The harmony in this piece is filled with melancholic chordal extensions which give the piece a flowing and floating impression. The piece turns the poem into a calling to Rumi. This composition also uses Fibonacci’s golden ratio to structure its climax into the arc of the story.