CHANTS OF TANBOUR
From dawn to dusk, music reigns among the stars of Persian culture. For this intensely spiritual and trance-like concert, Ostad Abdol Reza Rahnama and Ostad Ali Asghar Rahimi, two uncontested Masters of Sufi music and Tanbour improvisation, will engage in a challenging, yet harmonious and unifying, musical dialogue.
Let’s embark on this Ark of Tanbour, and allow our two guides to carry us upon the ever flowing ocean of time, to reach out into the depths for the pearl of human essence, and ultimately settle upon the shore of our primordial ancestral root, back to oneness !
Brief Introduction into Persian Sufi Music
"Hence philosophers have said
that we received these harmonies from the rotation of the celestial sphere,
This which people play on Tanbour and sing
is the sound of the whirling sphere;
The true believers say that music is a transforming force descended from Paradise,
a power that Beautifies sounds of unpleasant guise
We all have been parts of Adam;
we have heard those melodies in the Heavenly Realm" (Rumi)
Tanbour is an ancient instrument -the ancestor of most long-necked, plucked stringed instruments - that has assumed various shapes and sounds over the centuries. The simple sonority of this instrument, alternating between dry and soft, has something immaterial, abstract and even ascetic about it that makes it suitable for spiritual music. It has always been considered a sacred instrument used for accompany the Sufi sacred chants in devotional and liturgic ceremonies.
Its repertoire - maqams of Tanbour - is based on the ancient Persian music. These timeless melodies/scales are traced back to our primordial roots, to the ancestral memory of humanity. They are tale-tell signs of the ineffable mysterious quality of the spiritual states of our ancestors and convey the very essence of our true inmost nature. All the literature and poetic elements integrated in the Sufi music belong to prominent mystical poets, glowing with the enchantment of mystery and depth of meaning. The rhythmical patterns, harmony and beauty of these verses delight the ears and uplift the heart of each and every listener, beyond the borders of nationality, beyond culture or language.
ABDOL REZA RAHNAMA
Ostad Abdol Reza Rahnama, born in 1962, started his exploration of the tanbur at a very young age.
In 1975, he commenced his training under Master Seyed Amrollah Shah Ebrahimi, known as the father of Iranian tanbur, in the small town of Sahneh. Few years later, he joined the internationally acclaimed Shams Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Master Kykhosrou Purnazeri, in collaboration with Master Shahram Nazeri. Their performances spread widely, both inside Iran, as well as internationally, in France, Germany, Italy and the United States. He collaborated with the Shams Ensemble on several renowned albums, such as Seda-i Sokhan Eshq, Heirani, and Motreb Mahtab Rou. In collaboration with Master Majid Khalaj, he gave tanbur and tombak fusion concerts in France and Belgium.
In 1985, he inaugurated his workshop, and has been manufacturing tanbur, tar, and setar instruments ever since.
He is a thorough explorer of instrument construction techniques, and has conducted extensive research regarding sound vibrancy and consistency, thus bringing his valiant contribution to the field, especially concerning tanbur. This is what makes his instruments and his art so unique. His deep knowledge of tanbur ancestral harmonics, old maqams, adds to the unique flavor of this exquisite improviser, composer and resourceful storyteller. Modulation and maqam alternation, as well as spontaneous musical creation, are ever present characteristics of his improvisation.