This Clear Spot features an interview with, and performance by, Esteban Antonio. The guitarist, world-musician and inventor initially reflects on his attraction to, and subsequent mastery of, the guitar, citing some of his major influences and experiences. In the second section, he introduces his invention; a seventeen stringed, three necked instrument which he calls the Ha-Shem. Esteban plays three compositions: Tears of the Latter Rain, the Voice of Many Waters, and, Dreams, Legends and the Spirit; describing the techniques he has developed to achieve his new repertoire.
First broadcast on February 8th 2010
Produced and Presented by Lee Stapleford
When five young men who are a typical modern concoction of traditional Iranian values and MTV play music together what will it sound like?
Simorgh is the name of a mystical bird in Sufi folklore. As a band of young urbanites however, their music incorporates group chanting and a lyrical poetry that is folk-rap, accompanied by the evocative ney flute, tar strings and the empty bellow of the daf drum. This alluring mixture is – as far as our experience shows – at it’s optimum best when seen live, so we brought them into the studio to whip up some of that tribal feeling we’ve come to associate their performances with.
Fari Bradley talks to the five members of the band about leaving university, playing football, parents, Bryan Adams and musical instruments as weapons of culture.
Simorgh run workshops for the BBC on Iranian music and put on their own concerts around London. With their own unique melange of influences, the band stand for something many of us can comprehend: what it’s like to be a cultural cocktail in London now.
This programme was originally broadcast from the Resonance104.4fm studios on July 21st 2008.
New Iranian National Ballet with Lady Jamila Kharrazi, the Toos Foundation, and Nima Kiann of Les Ballets Persans, Sweden, prior to the gala performance at Logan Hall to mark Les Ballets Persans 6th anniversary.
In a country where dance and performance is highly restricted, ballet seems something left over from the days of the Shas, a testimony to the effects of the identity of countries the west has sought to dominate. Meanwhile we may be familiar with classical scores that have sought to capture the spirit of the middle east with endemic melodies on violin or the standardisation of a sound from the Middle East on the string section, creating a kind of platitude in music for treatment of subjects during the launch of the era of technicolour film (Alad-Din, Sinbad etc).
In an ambitious move, Nima Khiann presents not only the ballet but an entire history of the importance of dance in Persian history, simultaneously dictated in English and Farsi at the gala performance with some sufi dancing by his ballet company, where the girls exchange their trademark buns for the loose, wild hair of a mystic seeker. The sufi tradition, we are told encourages dancing, an irony not lost on an audience comprised of many seeking artistic and spiritual freedom here in the UK.
Lady Jamileh Kharazi discusses the ins and outs of offering events of this size for free and her own extensive background in ballet and performance.
Classical pianist Soheil Nasseri gives an interview before his UK debut at The Royal Festival Hall. We hear pieces from Nasseri, details of unusual adventures in downtown US city schools and about performing the UK premiere of Sonata No.0, by little known Parsi Essex-born composer: Kaikhosru Sorabji, involving complex chords and fingering.
Also visiting the studio is Babak Emamian from the eminent British Iranian Business Association. BIBA endeavours to bring Iranians career opportunities and to help them find their way in the world of business. He and host Fari Bradley discuss everything from British-Iranian policemenâ€™s balls to Calvinism.
This show was originally broadcast across London on 104.4fm on 17th March 08
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