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
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
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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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