Iranian Music – Afarin Rahmanifar http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 15:22:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/afarin-rahmanifar-icon-150x150.png Iranian Music – Afarin Rahmanifar http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/ 32 32 Anghami celebrates Saudi National Day with exclusive content http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/anghami-celebrates-saudi-national-day-with-exclusive-content/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 13:56:25 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/anghami-celebrates-saudi-national-day-with-exclusive-content/

A ‘key trend’ in the latest Arab youth survey is a ‘decline in news consumption’

DUBAI: Dubai-based public relations agency ASDA’A BCW has released the results of its 14th annual survey of Arab youth, described as the largest independent survey of its kind.

This year’s findings are grouped under six themes: Identity, Livelihoods, Politics, Global Citizenship, Lifestyle and Aspirations.

Having grown up in the age of the internet, it is perhaps unsurprising that young Arabs are avid users of social media and other online services. When it comes to the most popular social media platforms in the region, WhatsApp came out on top, with 82% of respondents saying they use it daily, followed by Facebook (72%), Instagram (61%), YouTube ( 53%), TikTok (50%), Snapchat (46%), Twitter (33%) and LinkedIn (12%).

WhatsApp is even more popular in Saudi Arabia than in the wider region, with 98% of respondents in the country using it daily. Snapchat was the second most popular platform in the Kingdom, with 84% of people using it daily, followed by YouTube (83%), Twitter (73%), TikTok (60%) and Facebook (55%).

Commenting on the potentially controversial inclusion in the survey of WhatsApp, traditionally considered an instant messaging service, as a social media platform, Sunil John, Founder of ASDA’A BCW and BCW President for the Middle East and North Africa, told Arab News: “WhatsApp has evolved as a robust social networking platform – for families and businesses – and is often the first source of information for many. It plays also an important role in people’s lives as a social networking tool.

Although TikTok ranks relatively low in terms of daily usage in the Middle East, usage has more than doubled in the past two years, from 21% in 2020 to 50% this year. In Saudi Arabia, TikTok usage nearly tripled over the same period, from 24% in 2020 to 60%.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter saw the largest declines in regional usage over this period: Facebook fell from 85% to 72% and Twitter from 42% to 33%.

In the Kingdom, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter have grown in popularity over the past two years, but daily Facebook usage has declined from 82% to 55%.

“One of the major trends we’ve noticed is the decline in news consumption, which peaked during the pandemic when people were largely confined to their homes,” John said.

The trend was evident across all channels, although social media remained the main source of information, for 65% of respondents. This is a slight increase from last year’s 61%, but well below the figures for 2019 and 2020, where 79 and 80% respectively.

The second most popular news source was television, with 45%, followed by online news portals (32%) and print media (9%).

Social media was also the most popular source of information in Saudi Arabia, with 43% of people relying on it, followed by television (27%) and news websites (23%).

Young people indeed seem to be consuming less news than two years ago, when they were confined to their homes during the pandemic shutdowns, John said, and the decline is not exclusive to social media.

“The decline appears to be part of a general downward trend in news consumption, regardless of channel or platform,” he added.

“2020 was arguably an outlier in terms of news consumption habits. A decline was to be expected as people returned to normal life.

“It is also true that young people consume media for different things these days, such as entertainment and shopping. We are also seeing the emergence of new types of content, such as podcasts, which are often hybrid in nature and more difficult to categorize. »

It’s also possible that “young people are ‘disconnecting’ from the sheer volume of news they’re getting these days, most of which is negative,” John added.

Despite the popularity of social media as a source of information, social media influencers and the platforms themselves are among the least trusted sources of information, at only 54% and 66% respectively. Newscasts have the highest level of trust, with 84% of people trusting, followed by print and online news portals, both at 71%.

In Saudi Arabia, however, social media, television and online news portals all garnered similar levels of trust.

There could be various reasons for the high level of trust in television news across the Arab world, according to John, “such as the depth and variety of commentary offered by television, and the larger budgets for news production that TV channels normally order”.

Additionally, “TV growth is also, of course, technological, with increasing internet penetration in the region allowing more people to access streaming services on their mobile phones.”

Although online news portals and print media are among the least used news sources, the survey found high levels of trust in both.

“Traditional newspapers are read much less than they used to be in their print form, but they are nonetheless respected for their journalistic pedigree and as news brands,” John said.

“This may explain why online news sites, at least online versions of what used to be print newspapers, enjoy a high level of trust.”

The emergence of “successful news brands specifically designed for the web and social media, and catering to younger audiences, such as NowThis, Vice and Gawker”, could be another reason for the trust placed in the sites. online news, he added.

On the other hand, “social media platforms are not news platforms by nature,” John said.

“First and foremost, they were designed to share content and network. Thus, they are good at spreading the news, but not necessarily at delivering news that people trust. However, the rise of trusted influencers on social media could change that.

The drop in news consumption could also be the result of young Arabs using the internet primarily for other reasons.

“Young Arabs are increasingly consuming media for different things: entertainment, for example, and shopping,” John said.

In this year’s survey, 89% of respondents said they shop online several times a month, up from just 50% in 2018.

Similarly, the number of young adults in Saudi Arabia shopping online has nearly doubled in the past five years. In 2018, 58% of people said they purchased products and services through social media websites and apps at least once a month; this year, virtually all respondents said they shopped online.

“This year’s research found a marked increase in the number of young adults reporting using social media websites and apps to purchase goods and services at least a few times a month,” John said. “And this trend is not just limited to the wealthier countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

The 14th annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey is based on face-to-face interviews and surveys of men and women aged 18-24 in 50 cities across 17 Arab states. Visit arabyouthsurvey.com for the full results.

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Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo’s concerts canceled in Turkey after being targeted by pro-government media http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/iranian-singer-mohsen-namjoos-concerts-canceled-in-turkey-after-being-targeted-by-pro-government-media/ Sun, 18 Sep 2022 16:40:14 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/iranian-singer-mohsen-namjoos-concerts-canceled-in-turkey-after-being-targeted-by-pro-government-media/

Duvar English

Two concerts that Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo planned to hold in the Turkish provinces of Bursa and Konya have been canceled.

The move came after Namjo was targeted by pro-government Turkish media and Islamist figures. The media claimed that Namjoo was “ridiculing the Quran by turning verses of the Quran into lyrics”.

After Namjoo was targeted, ticket sales for his concerts in Bursa on December 3 and Konya on December 8 were suspended on ticket sales platform Biletix.

Tickets for the singer’s other concerts scheduled for Ankara and Istanbul in December are still on sale.

The chairman of the Defense of Islam and Union of Religious Employees and Foundations, which previously targeted singers and music groups to cancel many events, Mustafa Çopursuz has launched a campaign to cancel the Namjoo concert.

“The traitors who plan a concert for this infidel, laughing at the verses, touch the nerves of this holy nation. Insulting Islam is not an art, it is intellectual prostitution. If the lawyers won’t speak today, when will they. If they don’t stand up for the Quran, what will they stand up for?” a popular pro-government Turkish cleric, İhsan Şenocak, tweeted on September 15.

Namjoo denied the claims and said, “I have never ridiculed or humiliated the Quran, which has always been my inspiration.”

“My love for Turkey and the Turkish people is as great as my love for my homeland, Iran. I say this because my audience in Turkey and the Turkish people have always treated me as one of their own. Ever since my first concert ten years ago, I have organized more than five tours in Turkey. I have always been greeted with love and respect, and responded in kind,” Namjoo said in a letter.

“I would like to state urgently that this is a serious accusation without any foundation, not only for my fans but for all believers. This accusation, this terrible gossip not only jeopardizes my artistic career, but also hurts deeply. It makes me very sad when people of the same faith as me say that I have turned my back on my faith. Therefore, I ask the media not to spread these rumors.

The truth is this: I, Mohsen Namjoo, grew up in a religious family in the holy city of Mashhad. I took a course on the Koran until I was 20 years old. I have often lectured at universities, especially in the United States, where I have described how classical Persian poetry adopted the rhythms of the Arabic language. In these lectures, I drew attention to the fact that in addition to the obvious sacred content of the Quran, it also has the miraculous and poetic rhythms of the divine word, which have attracted musicians and poets like me through ages. In other words, the Quran became my musical basis.

My love for Turkey and its people is endless. I am neither atheist nor impious. I am a Muslim and have never considered myself to belong to another religion. I have never ridiculed or humiliated the Quran, which has always been my inspiration. I have not changed any verse of the Quran. This is a serious and baseless accusation. Contrary to the slander that is spreading, I recommend that you listen to my song Mojir 2016, which I pray to God,” he added.

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Yamma Ensemble brings music from the Jewish Diaspora to Athens http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/yamma-ensemble-brings-music-from-the-jewish-diaspora-to-athens/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 14:40:59 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/yamma-ensemble-brings-music-from-the-jewish-diaspora-to-athens/

Over thousands of years of Jewish migration, communities have developed distinctive musical styles. The Yamma Together, Israel’s premier world music group performs ancient and modern Hebrew music from across the Jewish Diaspora. The band makes its Athens debut on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall. A pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m. Tickets start at just $25 and UGA student tickets are just $10.

“So what’s the Yamma secret that so easily grabs the ears of thousands of listeners around the world?” asks the set’s website. The music is rare, esoteric, niche and performed with ancient instruments (duduk, ney, kopuz, oud, shofar) and creates the feeling of ancient times and a strong sense of spiritual heritage and tradition although the materials are sometimes original and contemporary.

“The sound, the performance, the selection of materials and the moving arrangements brought this music far beyond any expectation of the members of the ensemble. Without special plans, the set went global and international, but managed to stay authentic, local and true to the region in which it grew and was born,” according to the website.

The ensemble’s visit to Athens includes a regional performance of the Piedmont of Athens for young people on September 23 at 10 am; for more information, call 706-542-2634. Yamma will also give a public workshop at the Ramsey Concert Hall on September 22 at 12:45 p.m.; admission is free without registration.

About the artists

Talya GA Solan is an independent Israeli singer, songwriter and producer who graduated magna cum laude from the Faculty of Arts at Tel Aviv University. She founded the Yamma Ensemble and the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble, with which she has released three albums and continues to perform worldwide. She is also a member of the Kedem Ensemble, a Swiss-Iranian-Israeli-Italian group. Its influences and inspiration come from ancient times, tribal songs, sacred and secular Jewish songs and exotic natural flavors from the Middle East.

Yonnie Dror plays eastern and western wind instruments and was born and raised in Jerusalem. His musical training was acquired at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music and the East Jerusalem Music Center. He specializes in playing various wind instruments: duduk, ney, shofars, clarinet, saxophones, flutes, etc. He performs and records with many popular Israeli groups: Rita, Idan Raichel, Shiri Maimon, Evyatar Banai. In recent years, he has also participated in theatrical productions.

aviv bahar specializing in string instruments. He was born and raised in Kibbutz Afek and Kibbutz Yodfat. Self-taught, he specializes in folk string instruments from the Orient: kopuz, oud, sitar. He has been composing and arranging since his childhood and is influenced by Persian, Kurdish and Turkish music. He has collaborated with masters of Middle Eastern music in Israel (Diwan Saz, Mark Eliyahu, Amir Shahasar). He has also released two albums of original traditional Hebrew pop music with his musical partner, cellist Hadas Kleinman.

sahar david plays Middle Eastern percussion including darbuka, daf, cajon and frame drums. He was born and raised in Ashqelon. His main musical influences come from Moroccan, Turkish and Yemeni music. David plays in the Israeli Andalusian National Orchestra in Ashdod as a ney player and plays a wide variety of instruments including guitar, piano and flutes. He also sings. In addition to music, David has worked at the Israeli Wildlife Hospital.

Avri Borochov is a bassist and music producer. He was classically trained by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra double bass maestro Eli Magen, practiced Indian classical music with tabla guru Samir Chatterjee, mentored by Afro-Brazilian folklore teacher Mestre Camisa and learned jazz with Reggie Workman, Junior Mance, Peter Bernstein and Aaron Goldberg. In 2008, Borochov graduated from the New School University in New York in jazz composition and performance.

Three ways to order

  1. Buy your tickets online at pac.uga.edu.
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center Box Office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Five-minute parking is available in the Performing Arts Center drop-off circle to purchase or pick up tickets.)

Ticket buyers can create a series of five or more performances with 10% off.

To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit pac.uga.edu.

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Middle Eastern students at Syracuse University need physical space on campus http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/middle-eastern-students-at-syracuse-university-need-physical-space-on-campus/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 04:19:22 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/middle-eastern-students-at-syracuse-university-need-physical-space-on-campus/

My mother immigrated from Iran to the United States when she was only 16 years old. At that age, I didn’t quite understand how valuable it was to be completely immersed in my culture, which my mother feverishly kept alive in my home. Growing up Iranian-American meant baking Christmas cookies and watching Home Alone were closely tied to our annual Shabe Yalda dinner, a celebration that fell on the longest night of the year and filled the house with Persian music and family.

For a while, I took for granted how closely my parents kept the two cultures together and how involved I felt in the traditions and heritage that my mother inundated me with over the years. Although I come from a hometown where meeting another Middle Eastern person my age, let alone another Iranian, was a rarity, celebrating the holidays and bonding around a shared culture with the handful of Persian friends I had was a warm familiarity and sharing traditions with friends from other cultures was a privilege.

With the transition to Syracuse University came the hope that there would be a larger community of Middle Eastern students here, waiting with open arms. Instead, I faced the disappointment of a Persian club that only existed in the SU website search engine. I quickly realized how the University’s attention to Middle Eastern culture as a whole began and ended with an academic program in Middle Eastern Studies.

While an opportunity to learn more about the history of these cultures is an important step, there is remarkable power in connecting with those who share something as ingrained as their culture. Middle Eastern students at SU deserve and have been denied the ability to provide comfort and familiarity through shared flavors, phrases, or nuances within a culture.

I’ve been fortunate enough to happily connect with other students from the Middle East and even Persia here, but those yearning for a community that shares cultural ties shouldn’t have to cross their fingers and hope they will be “lucky enough”. to find others like them.



A university that has SU resources and funds should strive to create a space or network to facilitate the connection of its student population from the Middle East. A space where celebrating cultural festivals can be done in the company of others and where friendships can be made through this deep similarity.

While not every Middle Eastern student at SU desires a space like this, I can’t help but imagine how much easier the transition here would have been had I been able to meet a group of people based on something I didn’t have to be good at or enjoy doing, if I was welcomed into a community based solely on my background.

As an institution that values ​​diversity and inclusion, SU has an obligation to establish a physical space on campus that helps and encourages the coming together of its students from the Middle East.
The League has taken similar steps in the past, such as creating Euclid 119 for black students, and has more than enough funds to provide Middle Eastern students with physical space. It would give students the necessary feeling of being at home away from home.

Having a community for Middle Eastern students doesn’t just mean making friends or creating a smoother transition for new students. It is a sign of recognition from the school. Although it should have been in place a long time ago, the League must establish space for a culture and a group of people who deserve the same attention as others on campus.

Roxana Berentes, Class of 2025

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Music from Iran | Minnesota Monthly Calendar http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/music-from-iran-minnesota-monthly-calendar/ Mon, 12 Sep 2022 16:06:26 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/music-from-iran-minnesota-monthly-calendar/

On Sunday, September 25, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts will host TCICC’s Music of Iran Concert, featuring some of Minnesota’s most talented Iranian-American musicians.
The ten-member Minnesota Daf Ensemble led by master drummer Negin Chahardoli will open the concert with several pieces composed for traditional Iranian frame drums. They will be followed by Aras, a quartet composed of Niloofar Sohi – viola, Negin Chahardoli – daf, Yashar Alizadeh – guitar and vocals and Aidin Milani – tar, divan & vocals.
Aras, like its namesake river in Iran, will take audiences through a diverse and rich musical landscape, telling stories of love, yearning, longing, hope and happiness. Niloofar Sohi will also perform several compositions for viola by contemporary Iranian composers, accompanied by pianist Jordan Buchholtz.
The concert will end with the haunting voice of singer Aida Shahghasemi, accompanied by piano prodigy Nima Hafezieh. Aida has toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and performed locally at the Dakota Jazz Club, Cedar Cultural Center, and the Icehouse.
Tickets can be ordered here: https://ordway.org/events/the-twin-cities-iranian-culture-collective-presents-music-of-iran/ Student discount is available.

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A documentary on Poitras wins the first prize at the Venice Film Festival http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/a-documentary-on-poitras-wins-the-first-prize-at-the-venice-film-festival/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 18:31:34 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/a-documentary-on-poitras-wins-the-first-prize-at-the-venice-film-festival/

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras’ epic documentary about photographer Nan Goldin and her activism against the Sackler family and their ties to art received the Golden Lion for Best Picture at the 79th International Film Festival of Venice.

Poitras, the American filmmaker behind Edward Snowden’s Oscar-winning documentary ‘Citizenfour’, thanked the festival for acknowledging that ‘documentary is cinema’ at the ceremony on Saturday night in Venice. Neon is set to hit theaters this fall, and HBO Documentary Films recently acquired it for TV viewing.

Second place went to Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer,” the documentary filmmaker’s first account of a young novelist observing the trial of a woman accused of infanticide.

Cate Blanchett and Colin Farrell won Best Actor awards. Blanchett won for his performance as a renowned bandleader in Todd Field’s “TÁR” and Farrell for playing a man who broke up with his longtime friend in Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

“Thank you so much, it’s a huge honor,” said Blanchett, who just returned to Venice from the Telluride Film Festival where the film was also screened.

Her performance as a successful woman in the world of international music whose reputation is threatened has been almost universally acclaimed.

“I am shocked to understand this and thrilled,” Farrell said in a live video message. McDonagh was on hand to collect the award before securing one of his own for the script.

Luca Guadagnino won the Silver Lion for Best Director for the cannibalistic romance “Bones and All” starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, which also won for its Best Young Actress performance.

“I prepared a speech because I’m nervous,” Russell said. “I’m grateful beyond belief to be here. So many of my heroes are in this room.

Russell also thanked Guadagnino.

“He’s been a great friend to me and I love him so much,” Russell said.

The jury also awarded a Special Jury Prize to “No Bears”, by imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi. The acclaimed director was sentenced in July by Iran to serve a six-year prison sentence from ten years ago, which had never been served. The order came as the government seeks to silence critics amid economic turbulence and mounting political pressure.

Julianne Moore led the judging panel that selected Saturday’s winner from 23 films that included plenty of Oscar hopefuls. The Oscar-winning actor chaired a jury comprising French director Audrey Diwan, whose film “Happening” won the Golden Lion last year, author Kazuo Ishiguro (“Never Let Me Go”), who tried from his hotel room after testing positive for COVID-19, and Iranian actress Leila Hatami (“A Separation”). The main jury also included Italian director Leonardo Di Costanzo (“The Inner Cage”), Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Cohn (“Official Competition”) and Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“The Candidate”).

The premiere in competition at Venice has launched many successful Oscar campaigns in recent years, leading to nominations and even wins. Seven times in the past nine years, the Best Director Oscar has gone to see a film premiering at the festival, including Chloé Zhao, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, twice, Guillermo del Toro and Damien Chazelle. It also debuted a handful of future Best Picture winners like “Nomadland,” “The Shape of Water” and “Birdman.”

Outside of the festival’s interim winners, Venice has cemented several films, actors and directors, as strong award contenders for the upcoming season. Brendan Fraser moved many to tears for his portrayal of Charlie, a reclusive English teacher who weighs 600 pounds and tries to fix things with his cruel daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.”

If the standing ovation timers are any indication of the reception, some of the festival’s best-loved were Andrew Domink’s “Blonde,” an evocative, semi-fictional account of the life of Marilyn Monroe, starring Ana de Armas, and ” The Banshees of Inisherin”. “Banshees” received a 13-minute standing ovation for “Blonde’s” 14-minute run, nearly double most other popular films.

Other movies have also made waves but returned awards empty-handed, like Netflix’s “Athena,” a heart-pounding French drama about the murder of a young boy who incites all-out war in the community, led by his other brothers. Another French film, quite different, also charmed audiences and critics: “Les enfants des autres” by Rebecca Zlotowski, about a childless 40-year-old woman (Virinie Efira) who dates a man (Roschdy Zem) with a young daughter.

Some were more controversial, like Iñárritu’s “Bardo (or False Chronicles of a Handful of Truths)”, a nearly three-hour surreal epic about a journalist who returns to his home country of Mexico for the first times in 20 years. Loosely based on Iñárritu’s experience of finding success in another country, the film was loved by some and not by others. Don DeLillo’s adaptation of Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” also received mixed reviews.

A major surprise was the generally negative reception of “The Son,” Florian Zeller’s sequel to his Oscar-winning “The Father,” which stars Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern.

Awards aside, it was a Venice for books, with great glamor from Timothée Chalamet, who stunned in a red halter top by Haider Ackermann, and Florence Pugh, looking like a movie star in sheer tulle on the Valentino shoulder that slyly evoked both classic romanticism and playful modernity, and big drama, mostly around Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling.” The behind-the-scenes intrigue of Wilde’s film led to excessive silliness as the world watched the cast’s every move for clues, from where people were seated, to who was watching whom at the premiere.

Chris Pine even became an unlikely meme for various photos of him looking zoned out at a press conference. Then came “spit-gate” where onlookers turned into amateur sleuths trying to figure out if Harry Styles spat on Pine before the film’s world premiere (he didn’t). As always, Venice gets people talking.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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For more information on the Venice Film Festival, visit: www.apnews.com/VeniceFilmFestival

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Preview of the Small World Music Festival 2022 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/preview-of-the-small-world-music-festival-2022/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 17:53:00 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/preview-of-the-small-world-music-festival-2022/

From September 16-18, Small World will bring together local and international musicians and performers for a free event at the Fort York Garrison Common. Opening doors to the picturesque heart of Toronto to artists and audiences, Small World sparks further celebration of Toronto’s history, present and future through a musical connection.

The hallmark of this festival is to catalyze collaborations between musicians who each bring their own distinct influences to their sounds. Small World Music founder Alan Davis explains, “We could have an Iranian musician playing with Chilean musicians. [performers] and West African artists, and new sounds are starting to bubble up.

The festival features a wide range of emerging and established musical artists, many of whom are new to Canada and looking for a musical community. This year’s artists include Funk Lion, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Pantayo, Shauit, Joyce N’Sana, Clerel, Hawa B, and more.

Davis goes on to say that the Small World Music Festival has helped create new groups and setups to develop new repertoire through collaboration. “Toronto, as a meeting place, lends itself to this kind of creative interaction in that it seems to be a hallmark of the city and its music,” he says.

Click here to learn about the Small World Festival schedule, lineup, updates and more.

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Praise of letters | Bis http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/praise-of-letters-bis/ Sun, 04 Sep 2022 00:17:23 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/praise-of-letters-bis/

To write is also not to speak. Keep quiet. Scream without sound.

Marguerite Duras, Write, 1993

Three years before his death, Umberto Eco expressed concern that we were on the verge of losing an art form. He said, “The art of handwriting teaches us to control our hands and encourages hand-eye coordination. It forces us to mentally compose the sentence before writing it. Thanks to the resistance of pen and paper, it makes you slow down and think.

If handwriting is an art, calligraphy is its highest expression; it transforms letters, words and grammatical symbols from mere vehicles of linguistic meaning into repositories of history, personality and culture. Etel Adnan goes further by saying that “writing is a form of drawing, even if we don’t notice it”.

Abdullah Shah Alamee highlights this shift between the linguistic signifier and the loaded symbol, both rooted in the practice of calligraphy. The medium can also be used to disrupt or expand established traditions, as well as to preserve them. The late Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born architect, described her interest in calligraphy as being tied to the categories of fluidity and fragmentation.

In a recent show called, Naghma-i-Besada, at the Tanzara Gallery in Islamabad, Abdullah Shah Alamee argued that each letter, as an abstract image, fulfills a specific meaning and that through their differences in expression, these letters become a source of inspiration. He composes letters inspired by the angular Kufic script and adds calligrams, meaningless marks. Approaching Persian calligraphy through the prism of modernism, he listens to his hand, the call of the ink, and abandons himself to the brush. He wants to free calligraphy from language and the meaning of words, and go back to the moment of its birth, to the universe of signs and symbols, when letters hung between mud and water.

Hurufiya is a term that refers to works of art that deal with Arabic writing/language, letter or text, as a visual element of the composition. Abdullah Shah Alamee’s emphasis on Persian/Arabic words in this context underscores how deeply the love of – modern – literature is embedded in the consciousness of the peoples of the East. The love for the early classics, the odes of the pre-Islamic or Arab poets Zuhayr and Mutanabbi, for example, is summed up by Elias Khoury in his epic novel Gate of the Sun where the narrator describes what such poetry means to him: “I like the melody that makes the words spin in their rhymes and rhythms. I like the rhythm and the way things resonate with each other and the reverberation of the words. When I recite this poetry, I feel an intoxication that is equaled only by the intoxication I experience when I listen to Umm Kulthoum. That’s what we call tabab.”

For the modern period, the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz particularly stands out. His innovative use of language and powerful sense of history made him one of the most beloved poets of the Orient. The recent exhibition of calligraphic paintings in Alamee takes its title from a verse by Faiz: Mera Dard Naghma-i-Besada / Meri Zaat Zarra-i-Benishaan… Drawing inspiration from the structure of the script, Alamee is one of the few artists to transform the script into, essentially, images of words. Going beyond the word, he says: I believe in using visual elements in a painting as raw material: Persian writing can be part of that. I don’t think a painting becomes Persian through the use of Persian script. The identity of the painting comes from several elements, not just from the writing or the ornament.

Can this now ubiquitous use of script be described as a movement, just like its counterpoint like marks and scribbles? To what extent is Alamee’s work still consciously tied to a Persian/Afghan Muslim identity, or in some cases an open rejection of Western figurative art? In recent years Alamee, who was trained as a miniature painter at the National College of Arts in Lahore and exposed to Western artistic traditions, has begun to seek inspiration from aspects of his own indigenous culture.

It was not only the Persian script that was adopted as a medium and transformed into art; Alamee is also fascinated by “the notions of text, signage and the visual appearance of language”. The works presented in the exhibition have many stories to tell. One can detect there a new love for calligraphy and the art of the book itself, which has a long tradition in the region and is in the process of radical transformation. The fascination with the structure of letters and the words themselves is also evident. Finally, powerful messages contained in these works scream and haunt us.

By drawing from the rich play between word and image, historical and contemporary, popular and iconographic forms, Alamee has no longer only contributed to Iranian art, but to art itself. Because he has best crystallized the fullness of the calligraphic effect, a moment when the letter, the word, the line and the text cease to be vehicles of meaning and slip into the pure visual meaning of the brushstroke.

For Alamee, a letter is not just a shape or form, but has a spiritual quality that paves the way for meaning given that Persian writing, like music, is a finely tuned abstract vocabulary embodying mathematical laws universal, and therefore has the power to have a spiritual effect on the viewer. There is rhyme and rhythm in the intentionally illegible calligrams. Alamee’s wavy, abstract and illegible scribbles show the many decorative possibilities that writing offers.

Deeply inspired by Hasaan Massoudy, who has staged dozens of performances, Alamee sang to a group of visitors on the gallery’s opening night while dabbing black Persian ink on gold sourdough canvas. flat. Like his mentor, Alamee attempted to introduce a new approach to calligraphy. Whenever our poetry reflects pain, it uses blunt, thick instruments that block space. When a singer chants in a voice charged with emotion, he performs with slow and solemn gestures, and when the voice rises in anger, his hands accompany it with frantic haste. Calligraphy helps to control the body’s energy and channel it into precise movement. When the words rise, rise and are light, we can fly with them. Sometimes, perhaps several moments in a row, the calligrapher becomes master of himself.

Inspired by the shapes of Persian letters, Alamee describes himself as an architect of words, seeking to make letters as poetic and plastic as possible. His characteristic style is the use of simple words or short sentences, whether the thick ultramarine strokes evocatively suggest a steep, winding road in Jag Sahar Aayi Hai / Chand Nay Mujh Say Kaha or the burnt shadow script repeating the letters for their intrinsic beauty, rather than for a particular meaning as in Meri Umr Ka Bemanzil or Aaram Safar. Alamee was particularly inspired by calligraphic worksheets in which the page is made black with the ink of repeated letters called siah mashq. Alamee incorporates the script into his almost abstract works. Poetry inspires him but is deliberately beyond readability. This draws our attention to the question: what exactly is the meaning of citing Iqbal, Rumi and Faiz as the titles of the exhibited works when the chosen letters in their poems defy readability? Are these works a kind of visual interpretation of the text? What kind of relationship is woven between text and image through these paintings?


The writer is an art critic based in Islamabad.

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US Navy Says Iran Briefly Seizes US Marine Drone Again | app http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/us-navy-says-iran-briefly-seizes-us-marine-drone-again-app/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 13:03:10 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/us-navy-says-iran-briefly-seizes-us-marine-drone-again-app/

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The US Navy says Iran again briefly seized a US marine drone before releasing it. Tehran says its navy seized two drones in the Red Sea before releasing them.

Cmdt. Timothy Hawkins, spokesman for the Navy’s 5th Fleet based in the Middle East, acknowledged the incident Friday to The Associated Press. He declined to elaborate immediately.

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10 Must-See Bay Area Concerts This Fall http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/10-must-see-bay-area-concerts-this-fall/ Mon, 29 Aug 2022 22:27:53 +0000 http://afarin-rahmanifar.com/10-must-see-bay-area-concerts-this-fall/

Hailing from France and drawing on their Afro-Cuban heritage, the Ibeyi twin sisters create a deeply spiritual form of electronic pop that pays homage to the West African Yoruba faith in which they were raised. Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz sing in French, Spanish, Yoruba and English about magic, healing, miracles, blood ties and spiritual bonds. At the Regency Ballroom, they perform with Madison McFerrin, a graceful neo-soul singer and daughter of NEA music wizard and jazz master Bobby McFerrin.

Toro y Moi performs at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco on August 11, 2019. (Estefany González)

Pier 80, San Francisco
24 and 25 Sept.
Single day: $199.99+, weekend pass: $399.99+

The new Portola Music Festival brings together OG stars of electronic music with new highs and standout indie favorites. The Chemical Brothers and Flume are the headliners, and the rest of Bill features a well-curated and diverse lineup. There are ultra-hip house music DJs and producers like Peggy Gou, Kaytranada, Yaeji and Channel Tres; cult pop stars MIA, Caroline Polachek, Charlie XCX and PinkPantheress; singer-songwriters Toro y Moi, Arca, James Blake and Yves Tumor; hip-hop innovator (and San Jose native) DJ ​​Shadow and too many other artists to list. There’s no big mainstream EDM in Portola – it celebrates the more alternative and experimental side of DJ culture and electronic music.

Musicians Daoud Popal (L) and Ryu Kurosawa of Kikagaku Moyo perform onstage during Levitation at Barracuda on November 07, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Rick Kern/Getty Images)

With Briana Marela
The field of war
Sept. 25, doors: 6:30 p.m., show: 8 p.m.
$45-$65

Japanese psych-rock band Kikagaku Moyo make perfect road trip music. Their guitar solos shimmer, chimes add a celestial glow, and the occasional sitar or wah pedal swirls through the composition. Singing softly in Japanese, the group evokes a more amplified version of the Beatles during the days of the acid trip, when George Harrison traveled to India to study transcendental meditation. Kikagaku Moyo’s profile has risen amid a psychedelic revival spearheaded in the US by their Texan Khruangbin peers. Unfortunately, the band recently announced an amicable breakup as they pursue other projects. Their show at Warfield may be the last time they perform in San Francisco in this incarnation.

Kehlani is performing at Outside Lands on Sunday, October 31, 2021. (Estefany González)

Starring Rico Nasty, Destiny Conrad
Oakland Arena, Oakland
September 30, 8 p.m.
$49.50+

It’s always a treat to see Kehlani at a hometown show, where fans who have followed the singer’s career since their days at Oakland School for the Arts sing every word. The Oakland-raised R&B star has spent the past few years maturing as a lyricist, and they described their latest album, blue water roadback to make the kind of music they want to listen to instead of meeting market demands. The most honest approach works. With restrained, brooding production and an emphasis on Kehlani’s softly raspy vocals, blue water road captivates with its vivid vignettes of “it’s complicated” situations, queer desire, questionable decisions and budding romance. Even during a big arena show, Kehlani has a knack for connecting with her audience heart-to-heart.

Colombian band Bomba Estereo performs during the ‘Jungla’ Tour at Plaza Live on August 10, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

The Greek Theatre, Berkeley
Oct. 1, doors: 5:30 p.m., show: 7 p.m.
$49.50+

The mainstream music world recently became familiar with Bomba Estéreo’s shimmering, neon-lit pop when she featured on Bad Bunny’s new album, A Verano Sin Ti. The Colombian duo helped the Puerto Rican reggaeton star land a softer sound on “Ojitos Lindos,” but they’ve been combining indie pop with global beats since their debut in 2006. Their latest album, Already, mixes elements of salsa, cumbia and folk music with bright synths and propelling grooves. Their Greek theater show promises a tropical dance party under the redwoods of Northern California.

English indie pop band Superorganism performs live at Circolo Magnolia Segrate in Milan, Italy on November 15, 2018. (Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Ritz, San Jose
October 19, 7 p.m.
$20+

Superorganism’s songs bounce with an overactive, childlike energy that unleashes listeners’ inner desire to play. (For example, their NPR Tiny Office Concert back in 2018 included a band member whose job it was to blow bubbles and make splashing noises in a bucket of water.) On their latest album, world pop, the group assumes human unity in the face of alien invaders, space travel and more mundane topics like not adapting to the latest trends. Their show at the Ritz should be a fun, fun time that encourages us to stretch our imaginations.

The War On Drugs during the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park in London on June 25, 2022. (Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Mountain Theater, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley
October 22
$120+

Bay Area music fans are blessed with so many beautiful parks that double as venues for live music. One of the lesser-known destinations is the summit of Mount Tam, a lush oasis of unique beauty with epic views of the Pacific Ocean and the entire Bay Area. Once a year, Sound Summit invites fans to enjoy some sweet indie rock at the top as part of a fundraiser for Roots & Branches Conservancy, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving natural gems like the Mount Tam. This year’s headliners include The War On Drugs, alternative country singer Faye Webster, folk band Fruit Bats and American soul sextet Wreckless Strangers.

Artist EMPIRE Rexx Life Raj.
Rexx Life Raj. (Nastya Voynovskaya/KQED)

With Travis Thompson
August Hall, San Francisco
November 4, 7 p.m.
$30+

After two years of pandemic life and too many national crises to count, everyone is tired of pretending to be okay. Ever the savvy songwriter, Rexx Life Raj gives voice to the many messy stages of grief on his latest album, The blue Hour. The Berkeley-raised rap star wrote it after tragically losing both parents to health issues in 2021. As he began to open up about his grieving process, he received an outpouring of support from fans who also had something or someone to grieve—which, after the past two years, is a lot of us. The project shines a light on one of Raj’s greatest strengths: finding life lessons even in the toughest of times and giving his listeners the motivation to keep pushing. His show at August Hall is the last of his blue hour tour, and it should be a cathartic homecoming.

Lizzo is performing at Outside Lands on Saturday October 30, 2021. (Estefany González)

With Latte
Chase Center, San Francisco
Nov. 12, doors: 7 p.m.
$282+

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