Tar o Pood (Persian for warp and weft) is a collaboration between Kronos Quartet and Iranian-Canadian Sabha Aminikia. We interview violinist and Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington, ahead of the performance at San Francisco’s Switchboard Festival, on how their work is centred on a politics heavily informed by the group’s feelings about their own country’s foreign policy (Australia) and treatment of minorities. Sahba Aminikia has featured before on 6 Pillars. The first piece we heard of his was ‘Threnody for Those Who Remain’ in 2010, dedicated to Aminikia’s father. For Tar o Pood, Sahba spent months trundling around Iran recording weaving processes. During the performance the players wear headphones, playing along with work songs sung by Iranian weavers. The audience hear the weaving interspersed with the piece. Aminikia’s grandparents were carpet weavers from Kashan and his grandmother’s singing was also used in the third movement of the piece. www.sixpillars.org
Cousins Adib (UK) and Mehdi Rostami (Iran) take the closeness of their family ties into the realm of improvisation, where trust and understanding between musicians is paramount to success. Prior to a London performance we talk to them in the studio about the preparatory process for an improvising musician, the instruments they play – the relatively new shurangiz – and their ambitions for the future of their duo, split as they are between Iran and UK.
We sample some of their sublime music in the show, but nothing can compare to a live performance where the players literally take you on the ‘journey’ with them. Buy the CD here.