Tuesday, July 26, 2005

ali akbar moradi concert

Concert in the time of blasts

There could hardly have been a greater antidote to the grim and apprehensive atmosphere in terrorism-stricken London than the concert of Iranian Kurdish music at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last Friday evening.

If the bombings and mass murder reveal the vile depths to which those terrorists who misuse Islam are prepared to sink, the concert affirmed the high level of culture that artists from the Muslim world bring to London. Some of the music had a deeply spiritual, meditative character while other pieces were joyfully exuberant.

The concert featured musician and vocalist Ali Akbar Moradi, one of the leading Iranian masters of the tanbour lute. Alongside him were his sons Arash, who plays sehtar, and Kourosh who plays the tombak goblet drum and daf frame drum. One of the numbers they performed was an extraordinary trio, with each of the Moradis playing a tanbour.

The programme also featured the well-known London-based percussionist Fariborz Kiani, on tombak and dohol.

The programme opened with a tanbour solo from Ali Akbar Moradi, accompanied by Kourosh. The solo was a fusion of Kurdish maqam music with classical Persian music.

The second half of the evening consisted of Kurdish music and dance. Towards the end, some Kurdish members of the audience couldn’t resist rising leaving their seats and dancing in front of the stage.

Ali Akbar Moradi was born in Kermanshah in 1957 and started playing tanbour at the age of six, encouraged by his grandfather. Later on he received lessons from the grand masters of Kurdish tanbour. By the age of 30 he had completed learning the entire 72 maghams played on tanbour.

The concert was part of the Rhythm Sticks International Drum and Percussion Festival held at the South Bank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room from July 16-24.

The 18 concerts were given by percussionists and musicians from around the world, such as Musicians of the Nile from Upper Egypt, Master Drummers of Africa, and Iraqi oud player Ahmed Mukhtar with Master Arab Percussionists.

Susannah Tarbush
Saudi Gazette July 26 2005

No comments: