Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will return to his own Madame ZuZu’s tea shop this Sunday for another ambitious performance. The singer was last seen at the Chicago establishment giving an eight-hour interpretive rendition of Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha. This time Corgan will attempt four sonic impressions of poems written by Rumi the Sufi mystic.
Sufism, the mystical path of Islam, focuses on chanting, singing and whirling as devices for shedding the ego and experiencing the power of God. The performance of Rumi’s poems in his native Chicago highlights the religious side of Corgan, who is currently working on a memoir entitled God is Everywhere from Here to There.
Corgan is better known to us as the founder and sole permanent member of the Smashing Pumpkins, a group that has flourished through melancholic lyricism and grandiose production value. Yet frequent bouts of self-harmful and obsessive compulsive behavior by Corgan are manifestations of an artistic genius that has sustained the group’s success. His recent tearoom performances are exemplary of his holistic spiritual philosophy, which ties together elements of Catholicism, Buddhism, and Islam. Corgan reunited his band in 2006 and recently promised two new Smashing Pumpkins albums, Monuments To An Elegy and Day For Night.