An interview with Shirley Elghanian from Magic of Persia.
Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize finalists exhibit in London this month, as do the artists involved in the Iran Unbowed exhibition which Magic of Persia have curated to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair.
With luminaries such as Abbas Kiarostami on board and Sheena Wagstaff chief curator of the Tate, Magic of Persia works to promote Iranian arts and culture outside of Iran.
This interview was broadcast live from the Resonance 104.4FM studios on October 5th 2009.
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.
6IIIs to Persia on Resonance104.4fm
Photographer Jamshid Bayrami shows his works in ‘Haj’, the opening exhibition at Xerxes Fine Arts Gallery in London, the only permanent gallery dedicated to Iranian art.
Bayrami has worked successfully as a photo journalist and is known for his picture of a bloodied hand print on a T-shirt during student protests that appeared on the front of The Economist magazine. Following three days of bloodshed at Tehran University in July 1999, the subject of the picture Ahmad Batebi was given a 13-year prison sentence. Bayrami’s work continues to be frank and sincere, yet has taken on some very subtle tones as he moves into the realm of art for this exhibition.
Here Fari Bradley talks to gallery owner and curator Ali Bagherzadeh, who is himself a collector, about the show and its pieces.
This show was originally broadcast from the Resonancefm studios on July 7th 2008
Nima Tehranchi, singer from Hush the Many Heed the Few visits the studio and talks to Fari Bradley about his success with Hush the Many and with his own solo project “Sliding Rule“.
Nima plays live in the studio.
Hush the Many are known for their finely balanced vocal interplays and innovative songwriting and have appeared in festivals all over the UK. Since giving this interview, Hush the Many have gone their seperate ways and Nima now writes and sings with Arrows of Love. Importantly, after the show Nima mentioned that being a guest on Six Pillars had made him feel more like an Iranian and inspired to find out more about the Iranian community in London, something non-Farsi speakers have limited access to. Nima is not the first to point this out.
Listen to the interview