Drehtanz (Whirling) by Om Prakash

Music Sufi Whirling

Om Prakash shares the title track of his album Shams.


The album Shams was inspired by Rumi and the Mevlevi Order, a spiritual and musical tradition to which I have been connected for the least 35 years.

The flute you hear in this piece, ‘Drehtanz’ (Whirling), is the ney flute, the mystical instrument of the Derwisches. It is one of those flutes, like the kyo taku of which I have spoken when commenting on my other piece The Great Eastern Sun, which are mostly used only in a spiritual context. The ney and the kyo taku both connect to the ultimate sound which is called Om, or Saut E Sarmad in Sufism or Tettai On in Zen. It is the sound beyond sounds, the Sound of One Hand Clapping.

I was fortunate to meet a Sufi musician from Iran who taught me to play the ney. To learn the technique is not so very difficult but what is most important is to be able to fall into the right space, the longing for the union with the divine. In his poem collection Mathnawi, Rumi mentions this flute as a metaphor for a seeker, the ney laments its being cut in the reed fields and longs to return to its origin. One of Rumi’s poems begins with “Listen to the ney / its cry of separation….

The ney is played in the beginning and then the music takes on a certain rhythm, thanks to my sister Steffi who plays tabla, daf and urdu. It is because of her that this album came into being in the first place!

The album was produced by Cold Mountain Recording in 2013, mastered by Fluzz Tonstudio.

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Om Prakash HellenkampOm Prakash (Friedhelm Hellenkamp) grew up in Germany and lived many years in Berlin where he also took sannyas, in 1975. In one of his first meetings with the master, Osho promised him to help him discover his creativity. Six month before he took sannyas, he had a dream about the name Osho later gave him: Om Prakash, meaning ‘cosmic sound and light’. He is also a Zen gardener and works and lives in Icking, Bavaria. coldmountain-recording.eu – inspiredbynature.de – japanese-inspired-gardens.de


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