Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coleman Barks comes (back) to Wordplay












Sebastian and I are both out of town this Sunday, so I've set up a show from a couple weeks back to play again, via the wonders of computer automation.

That show was a real treat, and well worth hearing once more: Coleman Barks reading live at Asheville's Fine Arts Theater on April 26th (as part of WordFest2008) with bassist Eliot Wadopian and percussionist Byron Hedgepeth. It assuredly wasn't your standard poetry reading.

Barks is well-known, of course, as the premiere translator of the works of the 13th Century Persian mystic poet Jalal al-Din Rumi into English, but he's a master poet in his own right, and in this performance gave us both some of his own insightful, genial work, and a selection of his translations from Rumi and Hafez.

On an earlier visit to Asheville, Coleman came by the studio to talk with me about (among many other things) his long relationship with Rumi's poetry; part of that interview is featured in the show, too.

The reading audio is a little boomy, but listenable. I'd set my mics up too close, as it turned out, to the PA that afternoon; I edited out the resulting signal clipping.

Incidental music for the show included tracks from Ali Akbar Khan's 1993 Garden of Dreams.

It'll air at 2:00 PM on Sunday from the station website. As always, the show will be available all next week from the Archive page as an on-demand stream and free podcast.

Enjoy, and I'll be back live in the studio (if the creek don't rise and the sky don't fall) next week.

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Coleman provided the photo, taken by his son Benjamin.

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