29 September 2010

Your eccentric ethnomusicologist presents three whole albums (you can do that on college radio). Today's show's trajectory: Persian classical improvisation ⇨ just across the frontiers of ethnic Muzak.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Kazem Davoudian - santur [hammered dulcimer]; Kaveh Mazhari - daf [frame drum], dohol [double-headed drum] & tombak [goblet drum]
Kazem Davoudian, n.n.

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Zarbang: Behnam Samani - daf, tombak, dammam [large drum], udu [clay water jug] & daayereh [frame drum with jingles]; Hakim Ludin - water drums, congas, natural effects(?), pendarik [South American frame drum?], cajón [box drum] & kanjira [South Indian frame drum]; Pejman Hadadi - tombak, daf & tunable frame drums; Javid Afsari Rad - santur & naghaareh [kettledrums]; Reza Samani - tombak, daf, sorna [double-reed] & ney-anban [bagpipe]
Arc Music, EUCD 1969
(Primarily a posse of Persian percussion players plus a few "exotics" from India and the New World.)

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

Gulistan: Rose Garden (1998-2000)
Ross Daly - lyra crétoise [Cretan lyre, i.e. bowed string instrument], laouto [Greek lute], saz [long-necked lute], robab [short-necked lute]; Socrates Sinopoulos - kamancheh [spike fiddle], laouto; Tigran Sarkissian - duduk [double-reed]; Henri Agnel - cetera [cittern], oud, rebec [bowed string instrument]; Keyvan Chemirani - tombak, daf & udu; Djamchid Chemirani - tombak; Bijan Chemirani - artistic director, tombak, daf, riq [Arabian small tambourine], tambourine, darbouka [goblet drum], udu, cajón & kamancheh; Manu Théron - voice
Bijan Chemirani: Gulistan: Jardin des roses/Rose Garden
L'empreinte digitale, ED 13127
(The ensemble has expanded to take in musical instruments from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and medieval Europe – that swath of musical borrowing and hegemony.)

22 September 2010

Last week I presented Classical Iranian music played on the jerry-rigged Western violin. This week, in technicolor, the real deal: the kamancheh, or spiked fiddle.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

*1. Tom! Bac! And Stay
Keyvan Chemirani - voice & percussion

2. Scattering Stars Like Dust
Kayhan Kalhor - kamancheh, Pejman Hadidi - tombak [goblet drum]
Kayhan Kalhor: Scattering Stars Like Dust
Traditional Crossroads, CD 4288
(The whole album is a suite, in the bold, martial tones of the Chahargah mode.)

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

Agar tché (Quoi que)
Bijane Chemirani - saz [long-nceked lute], Maryam & Mardjane Chemirani - voice

4. My Eyes, My Heart

5. Between Dawn & Dawn a New Truth

6. Snowy Mountains

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

7. Traces of the Beloved

Tracks 4-7
Kayhan Kalhor - kamancheh; Shujaat Hussain Khan - sitar & voice; Swapan Chaudhuri - tabla (track 4); Rafiuddin Sabri - tabla (tracks 5, 6 & 7); Ravi Kumar - dholak [hand drum] (tracks 5 & 6); S. P. Bahlla - percussion (tracks 5 & 6)
Ghazal: As Night Falls on the Silk Road: Persian & Indian Improvisations
Shanachie, 66011

*8. Vaade kardi (Tu as promis)
Djamchid & Maryam Chemirani - voice

*9. Geisha djan
Keyvan Chemirani - tombak & percussion, Bijane Chemirani - bendir [frame drum] & tambourine

*10. Chabnam ya tainz (Rosée du matin)
Djamchid, Keyvan & Bijane Chemirani - tombak trio

*11. Le retour de Molla Nasr'din
Keyvan Chemirani - tombak & percussion, Bijane Chemirani - tombak & cajón [box drum]

*12. Qalam kar
Djamchid, Keyvan & Bijane Chemirani - tombak trio

*13. Goftégou (Conversation)
Djamchid Chemirani - tombak, Bijane Chemirani - riq [small tambourine], Keyvan Chemirani - udu [clay water jug]

*Tracks 1, 3, 8-13
Chemirani Trio: Qalam Kar
Iris Music, 3001 854

15 September 2010

Tune in to Persian Classical mellowness for modified Western violin and tombak. It's the ayatollahs' worst nightmare.

*1. Ashk (Tear) in Humâyûn
("Humâyân, meaning "lucky" or "fortunate", has a touching character and contains the most sentimental gûsheh-s [melodies] of the radîf [repertoire]." The strings of the violin are tuned E-A-D-F½#.)

*2. Tulû (Sunrise) in Shûshtarî
(Shûshtâri is a subset of the Humâyûn mode, above, and "contains a large quantity of melodic materials...." Was it an artistic decision? That can't be a natural echo. There's a tad much reverb for my liking on these otherwise outstanding recordings. A nice touch is Yahaghi's occasional left-hand pizzicato.)

3. Shûr
("Shûr has a noble, mystic, and serious character and it is near to the spirit of the Persian people.")

4. Segâh
("... Segâh bring[s] about a state of calm and concentration...." according to Harmonia mundi, HMA 190391.)

Tracks 3-4 (rec. 1994)
Parviz Yahaghi - modified violin, Mohammad Esmaili - tombak [goblet drum]
Iranian Classical Music: Yâd [Commemoration]
Moonlight International, MICD 102

*5. (For those of you who were asleep during the first hour, here it is again.)
Tulû (Sunrise) in Shûshtarî

*6. Ashk (Tear) in Humâyûn

*Tracks 1, 2, 5 & 6
Parviz Yahaghi - modified violin, Mohammad Esmaili - tombak
Iranian Classical Music: Ashk & Tulû
Moonlight International, MICD 101

08 September 2010

First hour: music from Azerbaijan. Second hour: Iran. Third: Iraq. Make sure your passport's in order.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

1. Mugham Chargah
unknown - tar [long-necked lute]
(That's Azeri. In Persian it's Chahargah.)

2. Mugham Bayati Kurd
unknown - clarinet, unknown folk orchestra

3. Dance of the Ashiq Alaskar
unknown - saz [long-necked lute], unknown - balaban [oboe], unknown - daf [frame drum]

Tracks 1-3
The Land of Fire: Music of Azerbaijan
FM Records, 1036
("The word mugham, used by the Azeri to describe their classical music, is derived from the Arabic word maqam, which originally meant the "official" meeting place where the caliphs and other Arabian dignitaries gathered in medieval times to hear tales and rhyming prose, and later music as well. For each meeting, a suitable and carefully chosen mode – or maqam – was negotiated." It's only a matter of time, because humans like to make metaphors, before the mode gets associated with a mood, i.e. gets an affect attached to it.)

4. Mugham Chahargah (rec. 1992)
Alim Qasimov - voice & daf, Elshan Mansurov - kamanche [spike fiddle], Malik Mansurov - tar
Azerbaïdjan: Alim Qasimov
Ocora, C 560013
(Above, "Chahargah['s] bold, martial accents are supposed to excite the passions...")

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

5. Gheyrate sabba [Breeze from Heaven]

6. Omidvaihaye del [Hopes from the Heart]

7. Rosvaye do-aalam [Found Out in Both Worlds]

8. Erse aslaf [Inheritance of Ancestors]

9. Gol [Flower]

10. Delbar [The One That Takes Your Heart Away]

Tracks 5-10
Hossein Farjami - composer, santur [hammered dulcimer], oud & daf; Afshar - violin; Radmanesh - ney [reed flute] & setar [long-necked lute]; Khorvash - tombak [goblet drum]; Abbasi - tar; Adbul-Azim - violin; Sultan - ney; Nossir - ney
Hossein Farjami: Traditional Folk Music from Iran
ARC Music, EUCD 1423
("All these tunes have lyrics, they are songs.... Not all those who hear the CD will be acquainted with the Iranian language and poetry. So it seemed more appropriate that the santoor should play the vocal lines.")

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

11. Ragâ Roots

12. Allah ou Akhbar

13. From the Maqam to the Raga

Tracks 11-13 (rec. 1986-87)
Munir Bashir - oud
Ragâ Roots
Byblos Records, BLCD 1021
("These oud pieces from Indian and Middle Eastern inspiration were found by Munir Bashir's children after his death.")

14. Tahir (Folk Dance)
unknown - clarinet, unknown - gamon [accordion], unknown - duduk [double-reed wind], unknown - nagara [drum]
The Land of Fire: Music of Azerbaijan
FM Records, 1036

01 September 2010

Tune into divine madness in the form of the Sufi zikr ceremony, the ecstatic recitation of the name(s) of God.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 10:00am

1. Rituel de Zikr (rec. Sanandaj, Iran 1993)
Karim Safvati - leader, voice & daf [frame drum], Qâderi Dervishes
Kurdistan: Zikr et chants soufis: Les derviches qâderi de Sanandaj (Iran)
Ocora, C 560071-72

Set #2 - 10:00am - 11:00am

2. Nowruz & Kurdish Folksongs

3. Dastgâh-e Chahargah

Tracks 2-3 (rec. 1990)
Nowruz: Traditional & Classical Music
Sharam Nazeri - voice; Ensemble Alizadeh: Hossein Alizadeh - musical director & tar [long-necked lute]; Abdolnaghi Afsharnia - ney [reed flute]; Said Faradjpouri - kemanche [spike fiddle]; Mohammad Ghavihelm - dohol [double-headed drum] & daf; Farroch Mazhari - tar; Djamal Samawati - robab [short-necked lute]; Mehdi Setayeshgar - santur [hammered dulcimer]; Ali Ahbar Shekartshi - kemanche; Khosro Soltani - zurna [oboe], Arshad Tahmasebi - tar; Hassan Zargari - tombak [goblet drum]
World Network, 58.395