Musical Metaphors from the East: Improvisations on Persian and Turkish themes

2006-07 Intercultural Residency Series (ICRS) at Brandeis University

October 18-21, 2006

One of Iran's most accomplished post-revolutionary instrumentalist-composers, Kayhan Kalhor is a virtuoso on the kamenche (a bowed spike-fiddle played in front of the musician, on the lap or kneeling on the floor). He has toured the world as a soloist and with his ensembles performing Persian and Indian improvisations. Kalhor may be classically trained yet he has a radical approach to music making. On his most recent CDs, he spreads an extraordinarily wide net over Iran's musical traditions, drawing together instruments, modes, and styles long since divided by cultural and generational change. Kalhor's music speaks from an ancient Persian tradition while sounding timeless and spiritually invigorating today. In the fall of 2006, Kalhor was touring the United States with Turkish musician Erdal Erzincan, a virtuoso saz (folk lute) player bringing a program of improvisations on Persian and Turkish music.

This event was part of the 2006-07 Intercultural Residency Series (ICRS), sponsored by MusicUnitesUs. Prior to Kalhor's residency, there were events such as a film series, panel discussions and presentations on topics such as politics, particularly in relation to Iran, culture, Iranian literature by and about Muslim women, etc. Residency activities included lecture-demos on the music, history, etc.; a MusicUnitesUS outreach program for the Waltham schools; a workshop on improvisation; an informal concert; social gatherings; and the final World Music Concert on October 21.