I’m in Pittsburg with a bunch of ethnomusicologists for the annual Society of Ethnomusicology conference.
After driving on a treacherous highway that had deer carcasses alarmingly lying beside the roadways, I went to sleep.
Did I mention I was traveling with a baby? Feeding thrice through the night ensued.
At an early hour, through my hotel window, I see a burning red sun rising in front of a mountain crest. The sky is blue, the air crisp, and the burning ball of light lifts higher into the sky.
As I lie in bed, it occurs to me –there’s a song for that and it is, “I like the sunrise,” with music by Duke Ellington, as sung by the incomparable, Kurt Elling.
Original lyrics were by Mitchell Parrish; Kurt adapted the vocalese lyric from the 13th Century poet, Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks).
Don’t worry about saving this music
or be scared if the singing ends or the piano breaks a string
for we have fallen to a place where everything is music and singing everything is recovered and new
ever new and musical
The poetry continues beautifully with an eye towards the mystery of the world, things unseen and the beauty of creation.
You can hear the music here, and may I suggest just buying the record, since it is brilliant.
What an incredible way to start the day! I wish you a beautiful and peaceful day.