A new wave of extraordinary, young post-revolutionary musicians in Iran are reinventing traditional Persian music, playing with a level of technical strength and daring not seen in 50 years. Two of the rising stars of this generation, steeped in tradition yet unafraid to experiment, are Kayhan Kalhor (CD 4288 and CD4299), whose feats on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle) have made him an unlikely star on the tour circuit in Europe and North America, and Ardavan Kamkar, a 33-year-old Kurdish santur player who divides his time between performing as one of the top classical Persian ensemble musicians in Tehran and touring around the world with his family, the renowned traditional Kurdish music group The Kamkars. Ardavan, the youngest of eight siblings in The Kamkars, has recorded extensively with that group, along with appearing on the recent Kalhor/Shajarian ensemble production Night Silence Desert (CD 4299).
In the last 7 years, Ardavan has increasingly become recognized as a solo performer and the greatest living heir to Iran’s illustrious santur tradition. As Kayhan Kalhor points out in the liner notes to this album, Ardavan’s unprecedented ambidexterous technique and experiments in tuning, combined with his sheer musicality, have allowed him to reinvent the santur repertoire. Over the Wind is a broad-ranging exploration of the santur, one of the oldest instruments in the world, and a showcase for the technical daring and intricate elaborations of Persian classical and folk motifs that have made Ardavan Kamkar one more brilliant sign of a cultural renaissance in Iran.
Ardavan Kamkar appeared at the Smithsonian (Wash, DC) and Symphony Space (NYC) and in the London Jazz Festival in 2000. Look for him to appear in the US and Europe both solo and with The Kamkars in Fall 2001.
1. Memory of Friends
2. Dance of Wind
3. Three Drops of Blood