La Danza Poetica is back after a month off, with a special show focused on telling one, captivating story. #51 is a mix created live in a forest grove in the south east of Australia, on the 2nd January. Recorded at Renaissance Festival, this mix combines loops from some favourite Turkish and Turkish-inspired tracks with birdsong and other sounds, and at its heart is an epic tale of love erotic and spiritual, bondage, servitude and surrender.

For this story (and the show’s title) I have to thank the creator and voice, Thomas Keily. Based in New South Wales, Thomas is a performance poet and writer of ecstatic erotica. He spent some years in Turkey and is a student of Sufi mysticism and poetry. Drawing on four Sufi teaching stories from Idries Shah’s Tales of the Dervishes, Tom weaves a tale in which three dervishes seek the love of their beautiful, ruthless queen. It’s both a powerful metaphor and a good, rich story, with all the loosening robes, wise puzzles and rolling heads of the epic poems we love. 


Rafiralfiro (Rafael Aragon) – Istanbul Engloutie (Monkey Marc remix)
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 1 - Try to Describe Her Beauty
Baba Zula – Temptation (Terranova Dub Mix)
Yunus Emre – Muhtelif Siirler
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 2 - The First Dervish - The Beauty you Bow to
Smadj – Tristan
Burhan Öçal & Pete Namlook – Nerden Geliyorsun, Pt. III
Tanya Evanson – Riding the Bull Home
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 3 - The Second Dervish - The Rags that I Have Chosen
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 4 - The Nobleman Emir
Mercan Dede – Messenger from Mystery
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 5 - The Second Dervish - A Garment of Your Nothingness
Tanya Evanson – The Source
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 6 - The Third Dervish - A Bowl of Apples
Savina Yannatou & Primavera en Salonico – Iptidadan Yol Sorarsan
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 7 - The Third Dervish - Three Days Walk from the Palace Gates
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 8 - The Third Dervish - Held Weapon-like in Your Loving Hands
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 9 - The Third Dervish - The Animal of Him Awakened
Mercan Dede – Messenger from Mystery
Mercan Dede – Garip
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 10 - The Third Dervish - Her Arms as Wide as Forgiveness
Thomas Keily – A Beautiful Surrender Chapter 11 - The Star-lined Thrones of God

Notes on the show

A Beautiful Surrender is an audio book, recorded in the NSW hinterland featuring oud player Shai Shriki. For this show, I’ve included Tom’s introduction to the work, because he explains the underpinning structures and emotions of Sufi storytelling as well as his own motivation, which is as arresting as the story itself. You can buy A Beautiful Surrender at Thomas’ website:

The mix includes layered loops from some of my favourite Turkish and Turkish inspired tracks from the past few years, including Monkey Marc’s remix of Rafiralfiro’s Istanbul Engloutie, the wonderful Baba Zula’s track Temptation remixed by Terranova, and - a constant rhythm in my DJ sets - the track Tristan, by Smadj.

There is also a piece from Burhan Öçal & Pete Namlook’s epic telling of the life of Orhan, second sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Mercan Dede is here, from his 800 album, and Tanya Evanson, from last year’s transcendent collection Zenship. The 13th century Turkish poet and Sufi mystic Yunus Emre is represented also in the mix, as is a traditional Turkish song, sung by Savina Yannatou. Many of these artists have been featured in the previous La Danza Poetica Turkey-focused shows – see the “Related” links below.

Next month, I will be featuring a very special guest co-curator of La Danza Poetica from Istanbul. So stay tuned to this channel for more from the most poetic of lands.