By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
My dose of musical pleasures has been quite high these last few weeks. First I had the pleasure to hear Mr. AmirYall Arjoumand in Bam when we met them after the ceremony where he, Ms. Assadi, Mr. Ghafarian and others had performed in Arke Bam, on the eve of Prophet Mohammad's birthday, in the presence of the mayor, Mr. Bagheri-Zadeh.
Mr. Arjoumand sang a few of his pieces and played the wonderful guitar to go along with it. We heard his songs, including Bam (to be release shortly), Ali and Namaz (which was written by Ms. Assadi). They were quite nice and we enjoyed them a great deal.
A few days later, I was taking my guest from AIM (Actions in Mediterranean Project) who was my counterpart in that program from Belgium to see different places in town. We visited Ta-atreh Shahr - the main theater compound in Tehran and were shown everywhere and everything, guided by the most friendly and charming Ms Pannahi- from the Coordinating Dept. - who knew everybody and whom everybody knew.
Later, we went to Talarr-e Vahadt (the former Roudaki Hall) and saw the empty place there. Just as we came out of the main gate, we ran into this music school across the road and just went in. We were astonished by the friendliness of the staff and students there. There we were shown around by Mr. Mohammadi who as a teacher and school head must feel very proud of all these talented girls that they nurture. There we heard some traditional Iranian Music played by Ms. Oftadeh's students which was fascinating. I could only hope that these young students are invited outside, may be as part of a competition that can be staged there so they can show their talent to outsiders and Iranian expatriates. Later we were indulged with more music, this time from the European piano classes taken by Professor Sarraff & Ms Safaie. We also heard Mona, one of Mr. Mohammadi's own students, playing a lovely piece from 'The Marriage of Figaro' on clarinet.
The next day at Farhangsarye Bahmann (Bahman Cultural Center), in the south east of Tehran, the whole Belgium women Group had the pleasure to visit an Opera class conducted for ladies. These ladies are in the choirs and were practicing with their Italian educated Master Ms. Zahra Sheikh Rezaie. This was like a good dream as the girls' voices were so good!
A few days later, at the Belgium Ambassador's residence, I heard Iranian Opera singer Mr. Khosrow Mahsoori- a tenor- who sang a lovely Italian opera piece. Afterwards, at the same place, we had the chance to enjoy the young artist and musician Mr. Morad Khojasteh who excelled on guitar and sang for us a couple of well known Iranian and European songs.
This was not all! A few days later I was asked to go to my friend Mansoureh's house to hear the wonderful art of a well known musician and artist Ms Fariba Hedayati-NikFekerr on Seh-Tarr (Iranian Sitar). There I met another guest and Iranian music singer, Ms. Shohreh Ghiassi, who had come for a short visit from Germany. She sang poems from book of Hafez (Faleh-e Hafez) along with Ms Hedayati-NikFekerr playing beautifully on the cords and making a wonderful sound. I was told that she has entertained audiences with the 'nava' (sound) of her instrument in many cities in Europe, but has been taking it a little easier for a while. I look forward to seeing her perform again both in Iran and elsewhere. There is a condition on her performance; she will only play for a mixed audiences. That may be one reason that many here, at home, do not know her. But things are changing, and I hope that she starts to work publicly. The two ladies performed together without any prior practice. Shohreh has a soft warm voice but it failed to match the strength of Fariba's 'saz'(instrument). I like the touch of huskiness in her voice especially when her voice went high with her 'avaz (song)'.
The surprise of the evening came when my friend Mansoureh started to sing. I have known her for several years, but I never knew she had such a good voice, and that night I learned that she and Fariba had worked together in the past! Fariba played her SehTarr while Mansoureh sang, with a lot of rhythms, some lyrics of this very lovely traditional line in Isfahan (one of Iranian Music modes besides Shour, Seghah and so on)
Here I share a few lines with you, and please excuse my unprofessional translation. You must use your imagination to enjoy them fully.
Delam mikhad keh az hamoum bi-ayii [I wish you would come from the bathhouse]
Sareh bi chador va zolfehaye hanaii [with your hair that has been colored with Henna]
Ey yare khoobam, na-mehrabanam, dardatt be joonam [hey my beloved darling, may your pains be mine]
Gelou band-e talla nesiyeh misounam [a gold chain I shall buy for you on installments]
Ajall amad keh janoum raa setouneh [death came to take my heart away]
Nadadam, choun gereftare tow boodeh [I didn't give it, 'cause it was given to you]
Panj rouzeh keh bou-ye goll nayamaad [it is 5 days that we haven't had any smell of flowers]
Sedaaye chahchaheh bolbol nayoomad [no sign of the song of nightingales]
The melody and the wonderful simplistic lines, which show only the warmth and good innocence of the poet at times, something that seems almost lost to us at this day and age, was so mesmerizing in the candle lights with us five women sitting together!
Jaye shoma khali [we missed you]!
... Payvand News - 6/17/04 ... --