Across the Muslim world, diversity in languages and cultures has for centuries found expression in the arts, architecture and musical sound, articulating faith and aesthetic in relation to a plurality of local historical and social identities. Muslim sonic diversity is also linked to diversity of the spaces where sounds are produced and heard. Designated spaces of performance are integral to the experience of sound and its messages, because built environments in nature as well as in architecture localize the song from heaven’s garden in the human landscape. The poetry of Hafiz and the flute of Rumi both evoke the Garden as a heavenly, as well as an earthly, home of beautiful music; we are all the bird that longs to return.

You are invited to join us for a three day celebration of music, sound, architecture and gardens, September 13 to 15, 2013. Featuring presentations by distinguished scholars from around the world, garden designers and builders, plus performances and workshops with outstanding musicians, the University of Alberta hosts this unique event together with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan University. The conference is open to the global community of scholars and students, as well as to the general public, will contribute significantly toward a greater understanding of Islam and Muslims, and their diverse cultures around the globe.

“I am a Bird from Heaven’s Garden” is taken from a poem verse by the Persian poet Hafiz (1325-1390).


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