The international media likewise took a special interest in the exhibition, with both BBC Persian and Deutsche Welle Persian providing extensive coverage on their respective websites. Even the Met’s own musical blog, Of Note, was filled with scores of entries by local and international visitors alike who sought to share their enthusiasm and excitement about the remarkable exhibition they had seen.
One of the ways in which the legacy of this intimate exhibition has been preserved is the release of a commemorative CD-Book co-produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Le Chant du Monde. Featuring two CDs of Ostad Elahi’s music, this trilingual publication in English, French, and Italian opens with an introduction by Ken Moore, Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments, followed by a brief biography of Ostad Elahi, descriptions of each track, illustrated articles and testimonial accounts on the evolution and impact of his music, as well as select sayings from his oral teachings.
The overwhelming response to the Sacred Lute is as much a testament to the profound power of music to unite human beings from every culture as it is to the universal nature of the human spirit. Week after week and month after month, visitors from around the world came to discover, learn, and reflect upon the exceptional music of Ostad Elahi, while catching a glimpse of the radiant personality that brought this captivating music to life and ultimately transformed it into a learned art form.
“If used with the right intention,” Ostad Elahi would say, “music can connect us to the Divine, for music is related to the soul, and the soul is related to the Source.” In the case of Ostad, the stunning impact of his music reflects the embodiment of a lifelong pursuit of self-knowledge in the ultimate quest for meaning and transcendence.