The name of the piece belongs to the world of esoteric Islam, more specifically to Ismaelism and Sufism. Henry Corbin, the great scholar in this field, spells it Hurqalia. it denotes an emerald-color country belonging to the world of imagination, the Mundus Imaginalis, and intermediary realm between tangible reality of matter (the body) and the world of pure mind (the spirit) and is home to the soul, which, when dwelling there, sees visions and witnesses dreams. In Arabic it is called ’âlam-u ’l-mithâl, literally “The World of The Semblance”.

As Giacinto Scelsi was very familiar with the echoes esoteric Islam had received from several French scholars (René Guénon, Louis Massignon and Henri Corbin) and was active as a poet in French he may have become acquainted with the name Hurqalia through direct contact with Corbin.

There is an interesting study on the piece consultable as a .pdf on the internet written by Renata Skupin from Gdansk in Poland, entitled: Un Royaume Différent, about Hurqualia in the Context of the Musical Style of Giacinto Scelsi. It can easily be googled if one types “Hurqualia Corbin”. (Michel Leclerc)

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