Reflections on the Metaphysics of Music with Shubha Mudgal

Author: Manjula Nanavati

October 19, 2017

“When the soul hears music, it drops its best guard.” – Socrates Music is perhaps the most philosophically puzzling of all the arts. Unlike painting or sculpture it does not culminate in a physical object. Unlike literature and drama, instrumental music has no semantic value. Yet every tune, melody, theme, raga or symphony is steeped [...]

Raphael: The Drawings

Author: Siobhan Farrar

October 19, 2017

Raphael was born in 1483 and by the age of 17 he had been given the title of ‘Magister’, meaning independent master. This exhibition of his drawings and studies at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford takes a look at the essence of the artist. The opening lines of the exhibition’s guide read as follows: ’Drawing [...]

Yunus Emre, a Sufi Poet from Anatolia

Author: Pinar Akhan

October 19, 2017

It is said that anyone in Turkey – even the illiterate – will have heard of Yunus Emre. Although he is not as popular here as he is in Turkey, the new TV series “Yunus Emre” is one of the attempts to make him known in the English-speaking world. What made him famous was not [...]

Classical Dance: A Stairway to Spirituality

Author: Purbasha Ghosh

August 27, 2017

In our perpetual pursuit of the perceived definition of success, our minds and bodies are incessantly engaged in surface level occupations; being ‘busy’ appears to be a natural choice to satiate our voracious material and intellectual needs. Nevertheless, somewhere a higher center within us remains starved and an intense yearning to unite with something larger [...]

Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

Author: Julian Scott

May 13, 2017

The title of this article comes from a book by Umberto Eco, an Italian philosopher, essayist, professor of literature and novelist, most famous for his medieval whodunnit The Name of the Rose, which was made into a film starring Sean Connery. In this book, Eco introduces us to a culture very different from our own. [...]

The Way of the Artist

Author: Shraddha Shetty

April 20, 2017

“Beauty is truth’s smile, when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” (1) How would you define art? Usually, it is described as a form which is pleasing to the eyes. We call this form ‘beautiful’. Is beauty then related only to the sense of sight, motivated by the viewer’s feeling at the [...]

Cinema and the 20th Century

Author: Alfredo Aguilar

April 17, 2017

If we were to ask ourselves ‘what is cinema?’ we might say that it is an artistic expression, or perhaps a good way of telling stories, a form of entertainment or, frankly speaking, just plain business. The true answer is, probably, all of them. Whatever the case, it would be practically impossible to understand the [...]

What is folklore?

Author: Pinar Akhan

January 27, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the word “folklore”? Stories, myths, festivals, songs, dance, masks, riddles, crafts, beliefs… All of these and much more are comprised in the term folklore. The word – literally meaning “the learning of the people” (Folk-Lore) – was coined by William J. Thoms in 1846.  It refers to [...]

Down the Rabbit Hole: Tasneem Zakaria Mehta on Preservation of Heritage

Author: Manjula Nanavati

September 24, 2016

In five years Tasneem Zakaria Mehta revitalized a decayed and dying museum, transforming it into a vital and accessible cultural focal point for Mumbai. As vice-chairman of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Honorary Director of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad (BDL) Museum, Tasneem spearheaded the exhaustive research and the [...]

Mozart and Freemasonry

Author: Julian Scott

May 13, 2016

Though some people are aware that Mozart was a Freemason and many know that his opera The Magic Flute is a Masonic allegory, it is less well known what Freemasonry is and how central it was to Mozart’s life and work. According to the great Mozartean scholar Alfred Einstein, however, “the consciousness of his membership [...]

Mandala: Voyage to the Center

Author: Sivan Barzilay

February 6, 2016

INTRODUCTION A traditional Japanese story speaks of a disciple who once asked his master how one could achieve enlightenment. The master suggested in a matter of fact manner, that he must do exactly the same thing he did every morning for the sun to rise. After much pondering, the confused disciple went back to his master to [...]

Revival of the Renaissance

Author: Yaron Barzilay

January 20, 2016

Philosophy is an approach to life, a search for a way to try to live a little bit better, a little bit truer, everyday. But by what moral standards should we judge our actions? There is a difference between being immoral, and being amoral. Amoral means that there is no recognition of right and wrong [...]