Jürgen Wasim Frembgen, Nocturnal Music in the Land of the Sufis. Unheard Pakistan, Karachi, OUP, 2012.
“In Nocturnal Music in the Land of the Sufis, Jürgen Wasim Frembgen takes the reader along on his fascinating journeys into the world of mystic music in Pakistan. In rich descriptions, he relates his personal experiences and emotions during ecstatic nights of transcendental music at Sufi shrines. He also recounts trance rituals and the sublime rapture of classical music in private music rooms in Lahore. In his ethnographic narrative, he unfolds authentic cultural contexts and life-worlds in which music is deeply embedded, tracing how music is perceived and ‘tasted’ by listeners. He himself listens with all his senses, above all with the ‘ear of the heart’, to the nuances in sounds which seek to remove the veils between man and God. Thus, he experiences spirituality and discovers the enormous power of music in the land of the Sufis – experiences and discoveries that he shares with the reader in this volume.”
Nocturnal Music in the Land of the Sufis is a ‘musical archive of memory’, a personal travelogue… Frembgen takes the reader with him into his world, the world of Sufis and fakirs, dervishes and hijras, a world of mysticism and music. He provides fantastic insights into Pakistani Sufi Islam.… The book is not like an ethnological academic report; it is much more like a kind of travel fairytale or fairytale journey; every section entices the reader deeper into a mystical, almost magical world…
– Simone Falk Art & Thought 96 (2011), p. 80