A night of music and magic with Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh

Photos by Samannaz Rohanimanesh/FIUSM

Samannaz Rohanimanesh/Contributing Writer

Maestro Hossein Alizadeh, the legendary Iranian musician and the Monad Trio, held a concert at the Biscayne Bay Campus on Feb. 9. Accompanied by his talented Kamancheh player Saba Alizadeh and the renowned percussionist Pejman Hadadi, they mesmerized the audience with the exquisite improvisation of classical Persian music.

Concert Review 2The recital consisted of two acts: the first, a duo by Maestro Alizadeh playing Tar (members of the Persian lute family) along with Pejman Hadadi, having an improvised dialogue with whimsy and poetry in BAYAT-E TORK (a Persian music system). Joined by Saba Alizadeh in the second act, the three conversed with the highest peaks of passion and inspiration in Rast-Panjgah (a Persian musical modal system). The way they played their instruments, one could almost feel that the musicians were in a spiritual trance; they were drunk with love they received from the crowd and in return they bestowed upon them eshgh(love).

The crowd was composed of varied age groups. The older generation, all ears plunged into the nostalgic tones that whispered of the past, and the young – most of whom were born in this country and unfamiliar with Persian classical music- listened eagerly in search of the roots.

Being a great musical success, the event also framed a social breakthrough. As Maestro Alizadeh mentioned in his brief talk, there was a positive vibe that spoke a dialogue between the musician and the audience; One by creating the sound and the other by interpreting it into sense and sensibility. Maestro Alizadeh also talked about one of the most hectic contemporary subjects: Peace. He believes fusion music is a manner of nations to express their desire for peace. The tools in which the art uses to penetrate the heart are love and honesty. The language of art always finds its way through free of lie, dishonesty or violence.

Alizadeh is a leading living protagonist of the TAR and other. However, for this recital, he was also heard on the six-stringed Shurangiz, a relatively recent and resonant descendant of Tar. Having the knowledge of radif (the collection of ancient melodic phrases preserved through many generations by oral tradition), he has trespassed the boundaries of conventional music for more than five decades.

Concert Review 3Alizadeh has led a solo career, performing both in Iran and throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He was the conductor and soloist in the Iranian National Orchestra of Radio and Television, established the acclaimed Aref Ensemble and worked with Sheyda Ensemble. His first personal experience in Europe was playing in the orchestra of the famous Bejart Ballet Company in Maurice Mehart’s Ballet, Gulistan.

Pejman Hadadi additionally made a preeminent performance. The audience could sense his passion through his theatrical-musical gestures. With his eyes wide shut in ecstasy, each stroke on Tonbak (the Persian percussion instrument) moved each and every one of the listeners in excitement. His hands flew over the set of percussions in a circular motion and hit the drum with elegance and strength.

As an innovative percussionist, he has invented Tunable Frame Drums (Davaayer-e Kooki) to create harmonic intervals and add a sense of melodic pattern. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Durfee Foundation Master Musician Award and the founder of Neyreez World Music Institute in Southern California.

Competing along the masters, Saba Alizadeh contributed to the magic in his own style. With his eyes folded, his head drawn back and his fingers delicately holding Kamancheh, he bedazzled the viewers by his solos in Sigah (a musical mode). His discourse with Maestro Alizadeh in Rast- Panjgah would recall old masters like Ali Asghar Bahari and Abolhasan Saba.

Saba is currently an MFA student in Experimental Sound Practices of Cal Art California. He has performed in several countries such as Mexico, France, Austria, Canada, Turkey, Holland and the United States (Carnegie Hall and Royce Hall). He has had several photo exhibitions in Kuwait, Moscow, Paris and England and his piece “An Iranian Dismantling a Nuclear bomb on US Soil” was officially selected for the CEMEC concert series in 2013.

The concert was sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Society of South Florida (ICS). Founded in 1989, this organization promotes and disseminates cultural activities of Iranian descent. Monad Trio is promised to be back in Miami promptly and the magic once again will go on.


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