Kayhan Kalhor: Lost in the Desert Sky
The passing of Iran’s most beloved and admired vocalist, Ostad Mohammad Reza Shajarian (1940-2020) last October has left a country in mourning and an emptiness in the musical landscape of Iran. In order to be able to celebrate Shajarian’s legacy during the pandemic, Isabel Soffer has co-produced a once in a lifetime multi-camera concert film under the artistic direction of Kayhan Kalhor, one of Iran’s most important cultural figures. The World Premiere of Lost In the Desert Sky will include this new music and will be performed by his ensemble Ali Asghar Arabshahi, tar (long-neck plucked lute); Pouyan Ataie, santour (hammered dulcimer); Hadi Hosseini, avaz (vocals); Yasamin Shah Hosseini, oud (short-neck plucked lute); Damoun Akhavan, tombak (percussion) and Kalhor, on kamancheh (spike fiddle). The film will introduce the remarkable young vocalist Hadi Hosseini, who studied with Shajarian, and who may well carry on his legacy.
The concert takes place in the exquisite Mahinistan Palace, a 200-year-old architecturally sublime historic building typical to Kashan, an ancient desert city and an important stop on the famed Silk Road. Intertwined with the concert is spectacular footage of the daily life, landscape, and culture of this beautiful desert city as a way to give viewers a glimpse into Iran.
Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle), who through his many musical collaborations has been instrumental in popularizing Persian music in the West and is a creative force in today’s music scene. His performances of traditional Persian music and multiple collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe. He has studied the music of Iran’s many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan, and has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan Ensemble, Masters of Persian Music with Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Hossein Alizadeh and Homayoun Shajarian; the Persian-Indian ensemble Ghazal with Shujaat Hussain Khan and for his pioneering work with Erdal Erzincan and Rembrandt Ensemble.
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