|Some words from a Long-Ago tribute article...
||[Mar. 9th, 2016|07:19 pm]
I was just adding some new text links to the Lair's Tribute Article for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; and began reading through the Last few paragraphs. I decided to insert a couple of them Here, as they could not be more timely Today...
"...While it is great that I have vivid memories of interacting with a musician whom I loved, respected and cared about so strongly, I miss him terribly; and so many musical dreams I had have been stolen from me and destroyed so senselessly. I was very serious about wanting to work with Nusrat on a professional basis. I had many ideas about blending his music with traditional Celtic music in some fashion; and for this reason I tried to learn as much about qawwali music and Sufi philosophy as I could from reading and listening to recordings and videotapes, even when I couldn't be in direct contact with him or other Sufi musicians. When I met him and his group the day before their Seattle concert in 1995, I gave him two cassettes as an early birthday present: one by a local Native American flute player, and a live concert tape by Makem and Clancy (my favorite Irish musicians). He told me later that evening that he had listened to them while some of us were out shopping for him up in Lynnwood, and that he had especially enjoyed the Irish tape. He asked me a number of questions about Ireland and Irish musicians; and in August of the next year (the last time we spoke), he mentioned that he had bought a number of Irish albums since then on visits to the UK. He had already been introduced by Ry Cooder to members of the Chieftains group some time before that. He listened avidly to all kinds of music, from Indian classical to western opera to Bruce Springsteen; and announced in 1996 that he was looking for a good jazz vocalist to collaborate with. Most importantly, to worship God through music was the primary aim of his entire life.
But now I am left with many precious dreams of music gone up in smoke. Sometimes it seems that nothing I want to do works out; that it is useless to have any creative dreams, goals and aspirations, because our society (and perhaps even fate) just doesn't support people with an artistic calling. Part of the problem is my own negative inner voice that discourages me so often from pursuing and realizing these dreams, even though I know plenty of other people who do just that without too much of a problem. My own family have not been much help either; whether well-intentioned or otherwise, most of my relatives have tried to discourage me from professional musicianship, perhaps unaware that music is a high and blessed calling and my greatest love, and I simply cannot sacrifice it to fit into the mainstream corporate world like everyone else. No other work that I do means anything to me except for the paychecks, and I cannot live for that alone. Some family members speak disparagingly of my supposedly selfish desire to "do my own thing", as though dedicating myself wholly to music and creative work is somehow equivalent to being a drug dealer or peddling sex on the streets of Seattle or Tacoma. This is outrageous nonsense; and that sort of discouraging attitude is what is truly selfish and life-denying. A calling to music or other arts is many people's form of service to the world, and artists need the full moral support and encouragement of the people closest to them; my spirit has been crushed and smothered for so long without this that I feel like I have been slowly dying for years from the inside out...."