In Nocturnal Music in the Land of the Sufis Jürgen Wasim Frembgen takes the reader along on his fascinating mystical journeys into the musical worlds of Pakistan. In dense description he tells about his personal experiences and emotions while participating in ecstatic nights of music at Sufi shrines, attending trance rituals and listening enraptured to sublime and refined classical music in private music rooms in Lahore. In his ethnographic narrative he unfolds authentic cultural contexts and life worlds in which music is deeply embedded, tracing how music is perceived and 'tasted' by listeners. He himself listens with all his senses, above all with the 'ear of the heart', to sounds which seem to remove the veils between man and God. Thus, he experiences spirituality and discovers the enormous power of music in the land of the Sufis.
This ethnographic narrative takes the reader along on fascinating mystical journeys into the musical worlds of Pakistan, relating his personal experiences and feelings while participating in ecstatic nights of music at Sufi shrines, attending trance rituals and listening enraptured to sublime and refined classical music in private music rooms in Lahore.
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I salute Frembgens honesty and self-exploratory ethnography along with his meticulous attention to sensuous detail and vast knowledge on various dimensions of Pakistani Sufism. (Ida Sophie Matzen, Anthropos)
In five brisk and vivid "ethnographic reports", accompanied by brilliant photographs (and expertly translated by Jane Ripken), Frembgen brings the reader into the very heart of contemporary Sufism in Pakistan. (Eric Ormsby, The TLS)
Jürgen Wasim Frembgen is Chief Curator of the Oriental Department at the Museum of Ethnology in Munich as well as Privatdozent (Private Lecturer) in Islamic Studies at the University of Munich. Since 1981 he has been teaching anthropology and Islamic Studies at different universities in Germany He has more than a hundred English and German language publications to his credit. With Oxford University Press he has published The Friends of God-Sufi Saints in Islam: Popular Poster Art from Pakistan (2006); Journey to God: Sufis and Dervishes in Islam (2008); and At the Shrine of the Red Sufi: Five Days and Nights on Pilgrimage in Pakistan (2011). He has written extensively on cultures of the Eastern Muslim world between Iran and India, focusing particularly on Pakistan. Many of his books and articles deal with Islam, Sufi tradition, veneration of Muslim saints, art and material culture, the anthropology of the body, social outsiders and facets of popular culture.
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