Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kayhan Kalhor and Ali Bahrami Fard, I Will Not Stand Alone

The rich tradition of Persian classical music is something I have experienced with great interest and pleasure over the years. Yet nothing quite prepared me for the recent recording of Kayhan Kalhor and Ali Bahrami Fard, I Will Not Stand Alone (World Village). I say that because the music is quite beautiful but also strikes me as sounding like a furthering of the tradition into a realm of tone and style of an original kind.

The sound of the music is deeper in that the bass santour, well played by Ali Bahrami Fard, has an expanded range that goes well with the sound of the shah kaman, a bowed instrument that was made especially for Kayhan Kalhor. The latter has an expanded range as well and in Kalhor's hands, an attractive, slightly hoarse tone.

According to the information on the press website, Kaylan Kalhor created the music on this album as "a meditation on one of the most difficult stages in his life, where darkness and violence seemed to be taking over yet through music and his connection to the people, hope rises. This album is a bittersweet reflection on love, life and country."

The music is very moving. Excellent. Kalhor is an artist of the very first rank and Fard an excellent accompanist and a soloist of distinction as well. This is music to make you reflect. It is very beautiful music.

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