The Museu de la Música – Centre Robert Gerhard and L’Auditori, with the support of Barcelona City Council’s Office of Religious Affairs, will be offering a journey through the religious rites of six different communities in the city, in which music plays a central role. The concept of death and return is present in all religious traditions. Death, as an extreme, critical point in the life cycle, gives rise to multiple rites of passage which are constantly being transformed. A symbolic transfer gives meaning to the pain of loss and makes it bearable: the return of vital elements to earth, water or fire.
The Judeo-Christian tradition praises God by impregnating the whole liturgy with music. We will discover the legacy of Byzantine music through the liturgy of the Romanian Orthodox Church, sharing it with the Sant Jordi parish community. Barcelona’s Jewish community will invite us to celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, in the Barcelona Israelite community’s synagogue, while the New Covenant Church will be opening its doors to share the joy of Pentecostal worship with us.
“Praise be to God, who hath given us the language of birds.” This exclamation by the poet Najm ad-Dïn Kubra is one of the keys to Sufism, a veneration for the path of spirituality and mysticism in Islam. The qawwali, which we will have the opportunity to enjoy with Barcelona’s Minhaj al-Qur’ân Pakistani community, is one of the most authentic expressions of Sufism in the Punjab, a form of music designed to transport performers and listeners to a state of ecstasy.
The Japanese custom of writing a poem to death just before one dies is portrayed in Ukigumo, by Horacio Curti and Andrés Corchero, while Indian traditions are highlighted by Octavi Rumbau and Rémi Durupt, who use the tabla as the starting point for a unique journey to the centre of primordial sound.