09 February 2011

I've set an ambitious agenda for today's episode.

In the first hour you'll be awakened and greeted.

The second hour focuses on elements of Ostad Elahi's musical system: forms, pitches, rhythms, etc.

The third hour addresses the spiritual dimension of his playing, listening from the inside.

Read a concise history of the tanbur, the putative ancestor of all stringed instruments, here. Take a virtual tour of the 1995 Paris exhibition commemorating Elahi's life and works.

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

1. Suite Sahari
("[I]n the past, this melody was played at dawn to awaken the dervishes, calling them for prayer.")

2. Suite Jelo Shâhi
("The title of this piece means 'Go and Greet the King.' It invokes imperial rites of ancient Persia, transposed to the spiritual level...")

Tracks 1-2 (rec. Tehran 1964-72)
Ostad Elahi - tanbur & voice
La musique céleste d'Ostad Elahi: L'art du luth oriental tanbur
Le chant du monde, 7741026

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

†3. Suite de Tchapi
("Chapi is part of the Kurdish dance repertoire." Recorded in 1950 or 1960. Bad proofreading.)

†4. Ali Aman yâ Ali
("The Chapi [dance] theme keeps returning throughout this improvisation...")

5. Bâbâ Faqi
(Song evoking "mystics who lost their lives [as martyrs] on the path of divine love." Limited pitch range with lots of minor seconds.)

6. Bâbâ Sarhangi
("The major intervals of this piece give it a clear and gentle tone, resulting in some degree of calmness after the poignant evocations of the previous piece.")

Tracks 5-6 (rec. Tehran c. 1970)
Ostad Elahi - tanbur & voice
Oraison mystique: L'art du luth oriental tanbur
Le chant du monde, 7741137

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

7. Hymnes Hey Dâwed (rec. Tehran early 1970s)
Ostad Elahi - tanbur & voice
Destinations: L'art du luth oriental tanbur
Le chant du monde, 744 1626.27

†8. Supplique d'Ali
(This could have been penned by Martin Luther: "O You whom I adore, my Creator, my solid support, my refuge/ Whether rich or poor in You I seek refgue.")

†Tracks 3, 4, 8 (rec. Tehran 1964-72)
Ostad Elahi - tanbur & voice
Harmonies célestes: L'art du luth oriental tanbur
Le chant du monde, 7741122

9. Suite Jelo Shâhi
(Track 2 repeated.)

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
La musique céleste d'Ostad Elahi - CD Universe
Harmonies célestes - CD Universe
Oraison mystique - CD Universe
Destinations - CD Universe

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