We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn’t sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can’t fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don’t stand a chance. We’re mired in gravity, we’re earthbound. We’re ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.
DHAFER YOUSSEF - Whirling Birds Ceremony
From Birds Requiem (2013)
"Dhafer Youssef doesn’t consider himself a jazz musician. Yet, jazz musicians provide him with the space and freedom he requires to flourish and it is in their company he feels more at ease. Although he is constantly drawing on middle-eastern spirituality and on the Sufi tradition for inspiration, Dhafer Youssef doesn’t consider himself a religious person either. Yet, the bird theme throughout the album suggests not only physical altitude but also spiritual elevation. In musical terms, Birds Requiem is constantly reaching for the divine. On a track like “Whirling Birds Ceremony”, the interweaving dialogue between Dhafer Youssef’s melismatic voice and Hüsnü Şenlendirici’s clarinet is breathtaking, while the impressionistic piano of Kristjan Randalu paints the most beautiful pictures.” ~ Spellbinding Music