A dervish is a Sufi ecstatic who whirls in circles in order to harmonize himself with the revolutions of the universe.
...Dervish is a word for "threshold,"...
This album, Dede's second on Golden Horn, takes us through our own inner gateways, traveling to many reaches of the world without and within: an Australian didjeridu echoes, a Buddhist chants, crickets chirp, birds sing, drums and rattles rat and tat -- even the sounds of splashing water gush through -- reinforcing the dynamic tension of a soul reaching with persistent energy for the Beloved.
"Fire Drums" magnificently conveys the journey to and from trance.
Dede's ney (reed flute) is prominent on more than half the tracks.
...Faroukh Shams' astonishing vocals, which are featured in the first and last selections, warble, ascend, and descend with amazing control and versatility, conveying possibilities of meaning that extend well beyond mere words. A masterpiece.
-Antoinette Botsford, NAPRA Review, Vol 10 No 5
The success of "Sufi Dreams" was somewhat surprising in light of how unusually deceptive that music is. ...On the follow-up, titled "Journeys of a Dervish," it seems like a further step is taken even deeper into the Sufi worlds.
Compelling, intense rhythms and drum sounds take over on a couple tracks, clearing the mind and challenging the listener.
Traditional Persian songs offer evocative, sensual counterpoint, and the guest vocalists on three or four tracks really deliver, matching the power of the music with emotion and a yearning that cuts right through any cultural reference points.
Mercan Dede plays ney (reed flute), bendir (frame drum), udu drum, cymbals, water drum and synthesizers, adds chanting in parts, and provides the arrangements and the majority of the music.
Other key players and vocalists join in the spirit of this powerful CD, with its combination of healing prayers, fire journeys, remembrances, and ceremonial devotion.
-Lloyd Barde, Backroads Music