Buyukaga Piroglu Vüjüdi is an Ashiq of Azerbaijan, a nomad musician and story-teller, whose art is considered as the guardian of Azerbaijani language, music and culture. For these reasons, the art of the Azerbaijani Ashiqs has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I met Buyukaga in Tabriz, Iran, and recorded him in his home, where he kindly invited me! October 2014.
Under the arches of Khaju bridge, in Isfahan, iranian singers gather every evening to delight the passerby with beautiful iranian love songs.
“Shahriar and friends” and “Shahriar’s solo” are two recordings involving my friend Shahriar whom i met one of these nights on the bridge. “The old man’s Tahrir” is a recording of the Tahrir (an iranian vocal technique consisting in fast trills) of an old man coming from times to times to the bridge to be acclaimed by the young singers! Recorded on Khaju bridge in Isfahan, november 2014.
“Jan-e Maryam” (“My dear Maryam”) is the only song we recorded together with Shahriar.
“Jan-e Maryam” : It’s early morning, and the farmer is calling his wife with lovely words, “my sweetheart, you are mine and you will never leave me… So now please wake up and let’s go to the field to reap the wheat!”.
What a lovely song :). Anyway, I like very much the melody!
Recorded in Esfahan, November 2014.
The singers of Khaju bridge. On this video, they sing for a very special occasion : the come back of the waters of the Zayanderood river, which was dry for several years, and now miraculously flowing again under the bridge. Recorded in Isfahan, november 2014.
There were this old guy with amazing Tahrir singing from times to times on Khajou bridge in Isfahan. Once i was asked to play some tune with my accordion, this old guy joined and started to sing some lyrics completely out of the blue on my romanian tune! Recorded in Isfahan, november 2014.
In Shiraz also people like street music!
Every evening, Iranians gather in this square to share a moment of Persian music together. Everybody is free to take the microphone!
This song is a sufi poem of Attar of Nishapur, a Persian poet from the XIIth century.
Recorded in October 2014.
One beautiful and quite long improvisation performed by a master of tar, Husseini (tar) and one of his student (voice). The tune is composed of two parts, one improvisation first (“Saaz o Avaaz”), with lyrics from the poet Homa Geraami, and in second part one Goosheh (melody), “Naqmeh”, with lyrics from the great poet Hafez.
This first part is about love, of course, what else in Iran? More precisely, about a depressed lover whose sweetheart has left him. He is blaming himself and can’t forget her!
Recorded in the home of Husseini, in Isfahan. November 2014.
“Ba Man Sanama” (“You are my idol”) : a beautiful Tasnif (song) with lyrics from the great sufi poet Rumi.
Rumi speaks of his desire to become one with his beloved God. He also tells us that having the flame of love in the heart and becoming one with God does not need any particular ritual. It is all in the heart.
Performed by Peyman Khosravi, a tar teacher I met in Tehran. Recorded in his music school. November 2014.
For once, not a sufi poem, but a Tasnif (song) with love lyrics hiding a political message, written by Vahid Dastgerdi : “Moosem-e Gol” (“lifetime of a flower”).
“Life of a flower is so short, so you should take the most of it, and you are kind and tender-hearted person, so you should be so with your lover.”
Performed by Solmaz Badri (voice, santur), a great santur player I met in Tehran. Recorded in her home, November 2014.
Arman is a Kurdish Iranian musician I met in Karaj, near Tehran. He is the one who taught me so much about Iranian music, and in particular about Kurdish sufi music, his speciality.
Here is a song played during the Zhikr, a religious exercise during which the name of god (or some verses of the Coran) is repeated many times in order to reach some kind of trance. Collective Zhikr is used a lot in Sufism, especially in Kurdistan, where I haven’t been unfortunately (but it’s in the plan).
In this songs some lines are repeated again and again :
“Khoam ghorbanet bam
Which could mean something like “I want to sacrifice myself to you, god of Howraman’s people” (Howraman is a city of Iranian Kurdistan).
I tried to follow Arman with accordion! It was quite a fantastic experience, felt kind of blown away by the music at some point.
Recorded in Karaj, November 2014.
An other tune from the Kurdish Iranian musician Arman Dakei, here playing the tanbur, a string instrument used a lot in Kurdistan, especially in the city of Kermanshah.
No idea about the name of that tune, but it’s fast and quite cool!
Recorded in Karaj, November 2014
The Zoor Khane is a place where Iranians are practicing a millennium-old martial art combining dance, sport and religion, once used to train the warriors of the Persian army.
Men are practicing different exercises on the beat of a tombak player, who also sings epic national songs or poetry from Hafez.
In this short video, they whirl like sufi dancers!
(I must say Georgian dancers are still better, see in the section “Georgia”!).
Recorded in Yazd, November 2014.