Two Exciting Concerts of Mystical Music by the Yuval Ron Ensemble featuring Special Guests at the University of Philosophical Research on April 26th and May 7th

20 04 2015

Sukhawat_hand_clap

I have recently had the great privilege of curating an ongoing series of musical performances at the University of Philosophical Research. I had originally been introduced to the University and the Society of Philosophical Research when I was scoring David Lebrun’s film, Proteus several years ago. It was during that time David visited the University’s library to shoot footage of several of their especially rare books for the film. At the time, I only had an opportunity to see David’s footage and hear his stories of the University. I was greatly intrigued that such a wonderful collection of rare texts from different wisdom traditions existed in Los Angeles. Curating this lecture series has given me an opportunity to see first hand the treasures in the University’s library. Imagine, having knowledge not from just one set of beliefs, but from many different beliefs, cultures, and traditions right at your fingertips. It is as if I had come across an ancient house of wisdom in Los Angeles!

If you would like to share this joy of learning and musical enlightenment with me, I’d like to invite you to two special upcoming concerts in the next few weeks.
On April 26th, the Yuval Ron Ensemble will perform a special program entitled, Music of the Psalms, dedicated to the creation and use of Psalms in ancient Jerusalem. We will musically explore their ancient origins and how they have been used in both ancient and contemporary settings. The concert will feature the Yuval Ron Ensemble’s own Katyanna Zoroghlian. While many of you have heard Katyanna’s soulful versions of the Ensemble’s standard repertoire, her renditions of these sacred pieces are truly magical.

On May 17th, we will perform a second special program entitled, Burning Heart dedicated to Qawwali: an ecstatic Sufi Hindu-Pakistani devotional genre of music. This concert will feature my dear friend, the very talented Sukhawat Ali Khan. Because Sukhawat lives in the Bay Area and is in high demand around the country, this is a special opportunity to see him perform with the ensemble and not to be missed!

Burning Heart will also be a wonderful introduction to the musical practices of the regions that border Rajasthan, India as well as Sufi devotional music. For those of you interested in joining my tour to Rajasthan this coming February 2016, this concert will provide you with an enticing taste of the wonders that await us.

I hope you will all join me for these two wonderful upcoming concerts. The University of Philosophical Research is a truly special place and I am already incredibly excited to once again make music in an enlightened realm of spiritual learning.

To buy tickets or learn more, you can visit the University’s Event page here:

http://www.uprs.edu/upr-blog/events/the-living-wisdom-concert-series-music-to-nourish-the-soul/

To learn more about my upcoming tour to Rajasthan India, please visit the tour’s webpage on my website here:

http://www.yuvalronmusic.com/tour-to-india/
Katyanna at St john





University of Philosophical Research: Healing and Transforming Consciousness through Sacred Sound, Music and Dance

6 11 2014

Next weekend I will be honored to be in residency at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles (http://www.uprs.edu). This historical center grows from the tradition of great philosophers of history who perceived an intelligible world with progressive, dynamic and emergent properties of consciousness.  The univeristy’s tradition is shaped by such seminal thinkers as Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Manly P. Hall, Sri Aurobindo, and Lao Tzu. What an amazing honor and awesome responsibility!

Firstly, on November 15 2014 I will be presenting an event dedicated to my new book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom, and later that weekend on Sunday November 16 2014 I will lead a full day seminar were participants will experience the introspective and ecstatic practices of four ancient spiritual paths: Zen-Buddhism, Kabbalistic-Judaism, Early Contemplative Christianity and Sufi-Islam. This unique experiential workshop will include sacred music, chanting, movement, and spiritual mindfulness practices, drawing from the hidden wisdom of the traditions of the East. These practices result in the opening of the heart, increased compassion, deepening of spiritual awareness, and have been shown scientifically to impact the structure and function of the brain in ways that enhance memory, cognition and awareness. The practices, based on my work with master spiritual teachers of the East and neuroscientists of the West, also promote healing by lowering stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. The focus of this workshop is to provide a deep spiritual experience through walking meditation, devotional dance, ecstatic chanting meditations, sacred teaching stories, live Oud music and sacred poetry.

I hope you will be able to be with us to nourish your soul with deep meaningful learning at the University of Philosophical Research. See more info at: http://www.uprs.edu/upr-blog/events/yuval-ron-at-the-university-of-philosophical-research/Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 7.33.14 PM





Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb wonderful response to my book

30 10 2014

This evening, my dear friend Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb sent an email to many of her friends. IT was written as a response to reading my book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom, and itself, this response of Lynn is so inspiring and a call to action, that I was moved to bring it to you below in its complete text. Please share with your friends and family.

Dear friends

I encourage you to read Yuval’s book of music and stories called Divine Attunement. Yuval opens the door to the world of divine music with a tuning fork that releases the song of the heart. This book is well worth the read. Yuval Ron’s music is available via the web. One of my favorite artists!

The stories in Yuval’s book inspired me to dip into beloved memories of the Jerrahi Sufi Order in Spring Valley where I have sought comfort, friendship and prayer for several decades.

The three photographs below were taken by Doug Hostetter, another fabulous human being with a great heart.

In the first picture and second picture were taken during an evening of music and stories.
In the second pic, Sheikh Tosun Bayrak and I often spoke about the link between nonviolence, direct action and the service of the heart in Sufi and Shomeret Shalom traditions.

The Spring Valley Jerrahi community does amazing work. Among many other serivce projects, this community initiated the Bosnian Student Project during the period Serbians were putting Bosnian Muslims in concentration camps. In partnership with the FOR, under Doug’s guidance, The Bosnian Student Project brought 150 Muslims high school and college students out of Bosnia during the war to finish their education. The Jerrahi Order also graciously participated in one of the Interfaith Wilderness Peace Camps that I led by sending several kids from their community for a week of wilderness peace making. When RH and Ramadan coincided, I spent the first night in the mosque, praying with Sufis, seeking refuge
in a place I could feel wholly at peace with people on the same page of justice.

The third picture was taken near Hebron in 1998. My dear friend Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, a member of the Jerrahi Order and a great teacher of Sufism and nonviolence, Doug and I traveled to Palestine and Israel together on the first IFPB delegation. We spent a day with a Palestinian family whose home had been destroyed by the IDF. After several hours re-terracing a garden wall with stones, we planted a rose bush, and then, listened to the family’s testimony. One of their kids filmed the destruction! which we viewed (thanks to a generator). Her youngest child, a boy, had not spoken a word since witnessing the destruction of his world. Our hearts shattered, and tears became our only song.
At that moment, I wished I could play oud instead of drum.

These days, I feel an intense longing for peace pulling at my heart. Hardly anything quenches this longing, as we witness ‘the situation’ continue to deteriorate in the holy land.
And on account of other brutalities taking root.
For I, like you, have tasted the fruit of that beautiful garden, where souls sing together and, thus, transcend every boundary, and none are afraid, and so I know
the wounding is not necessary. Let us be sumud in love and devotion to what is good and right to do in this world. lg

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Open Tent Shul of the Arts
and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence





The story behind the brillant cover of Yuval Ron’s new book: Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom

7 07 2014

I hope you are all excited about my new book! There are many aspects of the book that have a purpose and special meaning to me, one of those being the cover.

We tried many images as the front cover image, from renaissance paintings of angel musicians, to old drawings and painting of musicians in Middle Eastern settings, but none of the images felt right or perfectly expressed the complexity of the book. Then came in the visual artist, Justyn Zolli, who did an incredible job creating an original image and helped solved this issue.

The Oud in his image is actually a representation of my first Oud, which I bought from a Bedouin in the Sinai Desert many years ago. I ended up recording my album “One” (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/yuval2) on this same dune in the desert where I found my first Oud. The Oud image symbolizes music, the musician, the artist, and the author. The tuning pegs of the Oud begin a winding path leading upwards toward the round Moon, which represent the perfect Absolute, the Divine, and the Great Mystery of the Source of Life.

The book has many of the stories that I tell in my concerts, workshops and retreats. Many of these are old legends from the East, some come from Judaism, others from Sufi sources, and a few from Christian sources. Some of the stories are based on my experiences traveling the world as a peace warrior and a troubadour of goodwill using music to bridge opposing people around the globe.

In addition to the cover image, I do have another work of art of Justyn Zolli in my studio. In that art work he created a triad of contemplative images representing the path of a whirling dervish towards the Divine. If you are ever in Los Angeles and would like to visit us at the studio to see these images up on our wall, please do email us at info@yuvalronmusic.com and we will set something up pending our production schedule.

It was a pleasure to work with Justyn on the cover image for Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom. You are invited to check out his work at: http://justynzolli-visualartist.com/

If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of the new book, you can do so here: http://www.theoracleinstitute.org/DivineAttunement

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Everywhere Nowhere: Music for LAX Album Released June 1st 2014

10 06 2014

It is always a great joy, along with deep feelings of wonder and excitement that accompanies the arrival of a new baby on this Earth. It is a moment of celebration, the beginning of a journey; a new set vibrations, a new expression of light and renewed hope. It is the same with a new release of music. This week we are celebrating the release of a new CD with the original score I composed for the celebration of the new international terminal of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), it is called: Everywhere Nowhere: Music for LAX. It was just released June 1st 2014.

The music on this album was first premiered as part of a multimedia art installation commissioned by director, choreographer, and producer, Sarah Elgart for the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). There were dancers on genie lifts, on the sidewalks, coming out of limousines, dancing on tricycles; film projections over the terminals of LAX; and a powerful new music score paying homage to every community in Los Angeles… what a spectacular show! 

If you did not have an opportunity to see the original performance, you may see some highlights here:

When writing the music for this project, I was deeply inspired by the energies found throughout the greater Los Angeles area and LAX. Whenever my journeys take me through LAX, I am always struck by two different sets of energies. At times I have been swept up in the bustling crowds of travelers moving through airport terminals. At other times, I have felt aloof watching these same crowds pass by as I wait for my flights.

Similarly, in my journeys throughout Los Angeles, I am struck by a similar set of energies. Often when I walk about the city, there are musicians, entertainers, and dancers performing. Sometimes this happens in light of holidays and other special occasions. At other times, I find myself in places of peace and calm where I can gaze at incredible views of the skyline. I wanted to capture these feelings in my music.

I incorporated elements of urban hip-hop, Latin, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Western-Classical influences into a constantly evolving soundscape. At times the music expresses moments of solitude and intimacy as if alone in the airport or watching the LA skyline. In other moments the music captures the bustling environment of crowded terminals and LA street performers with energetic dance grooves. The result is a collection of music that is at times infectiously upbeat and other times meditative and calming.

See an example of what it sounds like and the sights that inspired the music here:

I would like to once again thank Sarah Elgart whom it was a pleasure collaborating with, the staff of the Los Angeles World Airports at LAX, the good people of the Los Angeles Cultural Affair department, and the wonderful musicians who contributed to the album. 

I hope you will join me in sharing this journey through the sometimes lively, sometimes meditative realm of LAX. To listen to the music from this CD, please feel free to explore the links below:

You may purchase the CD here:

http://yuvalronmusic.com/cds-and-dvds/#everywherenowhere

And find more of my works here:

http://yuvalronmusic.com/cds-and-dvds/ 

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28 05 2014

This Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Los Angeles, the Yuval Ron Ensemble will be premiering a new concert program: “The Rose Garden of Peace.” I am so very excited for this program!

 

This concert will feature soulful music of the Middle-East, the poetry and stories of Persia’s mystic Sufi poet Hafiz, and sacred Hebrew Kabalistic Dance based on the mystical teachings of the Hebrew letters. Also we will have the world premiere of my new song, “Lay Down Your Vow,” http://www.yuvalronmusic.com/seven-pillars/ based on the Seven Pillars House of Wisdom vision of Pir Zia Inayat-Khan of the Sufi Order International.

 

This special new concert program bring together a unique union of Jewish and Persian cultures that is something that we find very little in our beautiful, yet troubled world today.  I am so very happy to be part of this coming together of cultures, and hope that it helps bring down the ethnic boundaries.

 

A quote of the Sufi Persian poet Hafiz that has inspired me in the preparation for this special concert in Los Angeles goes as follows: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the Earth ‘you owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that; it lights the whole sky.”

 

If you would like to see more information about the event, or purchase tickets, you can do so at the following links:

 

http://yuvalronmusic.com/rosegarden.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/644246485640732/

 

If you are unable to attend and would still like to see this concert, you could bring this new concert program to your home town! Please contact our booking agent to discuss the possibilities for that:

Rachel Cohen,

Tel: 310-838-0849

Email:

rachel@cadencearts.com

 

I look forward to seeing all of you there!    





Seeking meaning and truth in Esalen

21 11 2013

Arriving in Esalen Institute is like landing in a picture perfect of the Garden of Eden! The farm and gardens are even more beautiful than during last August when I was here last time. Being alone, I got to eat quietly seating on the grass looking over the blue waves of Pacific Ocean. Esalen is possibly the most well known and respected center for self development and spiritual growth. Interested people and pioneer master teachers from all over the world have been drowned to come here for the last 50 years!

I am teaching a seminar on Mysticism of Music and working on my book focused on music, spirituality and promoting peace. What a great setting for introspective work and for writing!

I am eating my dinner slowly, and truly enjoying every bite. This food tastes stronger and healthier than any other food I have ever eaten! Being alone I could really feel every nuance in this food, freshly picked up from the earth just few hours ago by the good people who farm this rich land. I smell the salty clean ocean air. It is so good. This is paradise!

Few days later, my workshops are so well received that I have been invited to come again and teach here for a whole month next year. I hope we will work it out.

I love my students – all seekers of meaning and truth – and I feel so much love and appreciation coming out of them. They are beautiful people. Some of them work in the farm during the day and study with me at night. The spiritual teaching is in nature and in the earth. The work is not only done in the classroom during the seminar, but it also continues beyond the classroom as the seekers work the earth and service in the kitchen in the magnificent land of Esalen.

The stillness, quiet and disconnection from the outside world allow time to truly appreciate the beauty surrounding us such as the flowers, the skies and the birds, and this experience is intensified at Esalen. This is a place to look deeply, to see and enjoy the natural beauty of the world. It is a place that pulls inward, as the ocean and the constant sound of waves are providing a constant hypnotic soundtrack. It is a very good place to work on my book, isolated from the world, the routine and the daily chores. I will be back here for another teaching seminar open for the public during March 16-21, 2014 to teach about Sacred Sound, Meditation and Dance to Change your Brain and Transform Your Life. A five day intensive exploring the introspective and ecstatic practices of four ancient spiritual paths: Zen Buddhism, Kabbalistic Judaism, early contemplative Christianity, and Sufi-Islam. A fascinating seminar! you can read more about it here:  http://www.esalen.org/workshop/week-march-16-21/sacred-sound-meditation-and-dance-change-your-brain-and-transform-your

I hope to see you too at Esalen sometime in the future!

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