To mark Children in Need Week Dr Helen Nejad from the NGO Iran Children’s Charity visits the studio to discuss their drive to raise money for kids in Iran. Focusing mainly on orphans, those without national status or on the streets, the charity aims to supply two university hospitals in Iran that treat children specifically.
‘In Search of Simorgh‘ is Iran Children’s Charity’s first fund-raising event, a Persian Heritage music and contemporary and traditional dance theatrical performance. The performance is based on 12th Century Sufi classic Conference of the Birds by Farid Uddi Attar, and also loosely on the stage adaptation by Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carriere. Musicians from Europe play cello, kamanche, tar, santoor, daf and percussion and 7 dancers interpret the text so that there is no language barrier to enjoying the performance.
If you would like to help children in needby simply being entertained, then please complete and return the attached form, or book your ticket online through their event website www.insearchofsimorgh.com The event is hosted by Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh.
Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way , London WC1H 0AL
Sunday 21st November
18:00 to 22:00 (programme starts at 19:00)
All funds raised from donations, ticket and raffle sales will be used to purchase Keyhole surgical and other operating theatre equipment for Mofid and Ali Asghar Children Hospitals. Their target over the years is a minimum of £30,000 per hospital for the equipment. Your contribution can really help to save lives of children who undergo operations, facilitate quicker recovery for many more, as well as bringing relief and a smile to their siblings and families.
An interview with award winning artist Mahmoud Bakhshi as he begins his three day residency and prepares for his historic solo show at Saatchi Gallery. The interview is translated by curator Vali Mahlouji, one of the people who nominated Mahmoud for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Arts Prize (MOPCAP) in the first place.
Mahmoud Bakhshi draws inspiration for his works from the political and social issues that surround him. Born in Tehran, Iran, he is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran, and has exhibited internationally since 2006. Mahmoud is also supported by the Delfina Foundation.
First broadcast on Sept 20th 2010 from ResonanceFM studios
Read more about the event here
In aid of Amnesty International
The Ginglik underground bar is directly in front of Shepherd’s Bush tube station in the middle of the green as you cross the road to reach the West 12 Shopping Centre.
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.
Two small travel companies explain the ins and outs of travelling to Iran. From dry sand skiing to Zoroastrian tours, there is a lot on offer!
Persian Voyages and Magic Carpet Travel share anecdotes and histories, as well as tips for those considering leaving.
This programme was originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm in London, on July 14th 2008
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
Fari Bradley reports from the Contemporary Iranian Music event at the Camden Underworld and interviews artist Maria Kheirkhah live in the studio about her career choice to become an artist, collecting air in the Iranian desert and her current exhibition the Psychology of Fear. Featured are Farinaz Entegham, Ali Charmi on hip hop and faith, and the father of one of the members of Simorgh.
(pictured: Maria Keirkhah collects hot desert air for her show)
Most Iranian parents want their children to be lawyers or doctors, so how do aspiring musicians fare with their parents when making out-of-the-ordinary career choices. Also what does contemporary music mean to most young Iranians? We’ve heard the desperate eurodance trash that most clubs advertise as Persian music, and other than that there is only Dylan-esque songs and traditional music to choose from in the main. Rightly, some UK based Iranians are fusing the traditional forms and instruments with modern concerns, with a vocal delivery that compares with rapping under the moniker Contemporary Iranian for the event and Simorgh for their group. Simorgh are also promoting other new musicians such as rapper Farinaz Entegham (Holland) and Reveal (UK).
This show was originally broadcast from Resonancefm studios in London on June 16th 2008, produced and presented by Fari Bradley
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.
When you hear this stuff you are transported. So much energy and such a fine example of east-west musical balance. On hearing these tracks the mind is drawn down images of side streets throbbing with nightclubs and bright fashion, in a setting of affluence and passionate youth. The 70’s was a culture boom of fashion, music and norms in Iran that has not yet been equaled. To top this, many Iranians left Iran never to return in the late 70s, so the era has become iconic.
Fari Bradley talks to Arash Saedinia, a Los Angeles-based music enthusiast and creator of the Fars Funk website, about his passion for vintage Persian popular recordings.
Synthesizing indigenous traditions and Western influences, Iranian artists created a notable body of left-field psychedelic, rock, funk, and folk songs in the sixties and seventies. The show features songs from “Pomegranates”, a compilation of Persian pop gems due later this year from B-Music.
This programme was originally broadcast on Monday 16th June 2008 13.30
Sote is a composer and sound designer living in America. On a chance visit to Iran he heard a unique sound he had never come across before, the 1960’s avant garde electronics of Alireza Mashayekhi. Sote’s interest then led him to develop a relationship with Mashayekhi with whom he recently released a double CD on Sub Rosa records. His roots in Germany, Sote developed a trademark process for audio that gives his work its bizarre shape and signature sound. After a release of drum and bass on WARP records, Sote moved into experimental music and sound on Sub Rosa.
In this show, Fari interviews Sote about sound processes and the moment he first heard Mashayekhi’s music. We hear two experimental tracks from the album Persian Electronic Music Yesterday and Today 1966-2006. Many thanks to Sub Rosa Records for allowing us to podcast these tracks.
This show was broadcast live from Resonancefm studios in London April 7th 2008.