A journey by train to Persia in 1976 with fellow artist, Anitra Lucander, was my first memorable introduction to the rich culture of the Middle East. Visiting the Mosques of Qum and Isfahan are images that have remained indelibly printed on my mind. 2 years later, in l978, I traveled with Anitra Lucander to the annual festival of the Order of Whirling Dervishes, founded in Konya, Turkey by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (died 1273).
This profoundly moving spectacle has remained a source of inspiration: in a large and darkened hall, the reed-flute (ney) and violin (rebab) wove their haunting melody in harmony with the spinning, illuminated figures which pulsed with graceful, undulating motion. Like planets circling the sun, to the music of the spheres, it was the Dance of Life – conveying all the essential rhythms and movement which are inherent in all creation….