Book – Composing Temple Sunrise
Author – Hassan El-Tayyab.
Who doesn’t like a rags-to-riches story? Or an inspiring story about someone who overcame insurmountable obstacles to achieve fame or fortune? If you are like the vast majority, then this is an excellent book to read and gather motivation to achieve your highest dreams!
Composing Temple Sunrise is a biographical memoir by award-winning musician Hassan, who details how attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada helped him find renewed hope after hitting a series of low points in his life (losing his job, a broken relationship, artistic setbacks, etc). It is a rousing story where we learn about Hassan’s troubled past, and how he learns to let go of past hurts, failures and self-doubts and find the courage to move on.
This book is unique and gripping in many ways :
- All of us have moments when we are plagued with anxiety and unsure of the next step in our career/ life/ relationship. Many people face a fork in life when it is easier to be cling to “safe discontent” than follow our dreams and suffer the possibility of failure. What I truly loved about the book is how the author bares those emotions and confusion, and accepts the crucial question what most of us never even allow ourselves to think “What if I am NOT great or special? What if I never make it great?” It was encouraging to read the author’s decision to take a leap of faith to follow his dreams. (motivates us to try and rekindle our dreams again! )
- This book showcases a special “inside” look into the remarkable Burning Man festival, from the perspective of the artist and workers who make this event so memorable. Burning Man is supposed to be a temporary city/community for artists and dreamers, a pilgrimage of sorts for those wanting to let go. Reading this book gives you a clear picture of why that is true.
- Loved the sketches of the effigies from the Festival.
- The author does NOT try to make excuses for himself. True, he does mention his difficult relationships but he also (wisely) realizes that many were self-inflicted, like hanging out with thieving friends or dragging a broken relationship for years. We’ve all made mistakes like these, but not many of us can face the truth that we chose to ignore the warning signs. I laud Hassan for being so brutally honest with his readers.
- There are many stories about self-discovery, but few are written by someone so young or wise beyond their years. Not too mention successful in a difficult niche like the music industry.
I was a little annoyed (not much) at parts when the story moved back and forth between the Burning Man journey and the author’s childhood, because it kept me from finding out what happened next. At the same time, it did make for an interesting divergence, like a daily soap exploring a secondary plot.
Why else should you read this book?
This book may seem about overcoming artist’s block, but I feel it is more a book about HOPE. Successful people do have failures, they just choose to dust themselves off and keep trying. Sometimes like Hassan, they do it even when the future looks grim.
If you feel you let the passion-fire of your dreams die into cold embers, then this is the perfect book for you. Please do read it!
If you are already successful, then read it anyway. Who knows what else other peaks you may be galvanized to achieve? 🙂
About the Author:
Hassan El-Tayyab is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, teacher, and cultural activist currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. His critically acclaimed Americana act American Nomad performs regularly at festivals and venues up and down the West Coast and beyond and he teaches music in the Bay Area. You can view more about them at this link.