ONE HUNDRED STRAINS

Faramarz Payvar

[Faramarz Payvar]

An Iranian filmmaker friend tells me that one of her favorite santur players, Faramarz Payvar, has just passed away. He played the santur (le grand maître du santûr moderne!), a kind of Persian hammered dulcimer whose name means one hundred strains. Tiny hammers like the heart.

payvar-young

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Faramarz Payvar – Dastgah E Nava XIII (from Improvisations on Santur)

santur

A fitting companion to this song would be one from Ivan Tcherepnin’s Flores Musicales / Five Songs / Santur Live! album, which I like a lot but don’t have. (Do you?) On it the Russian-Chinese composer (another santur wizard) mixes the instrument with impressive live electronics from the Serge modular synthesizer, named after his brother, who built it.

For more experimentally-minded Persian music, try Dariush Dolat Shahi, two fantastic albums of his are hosted on UbuWeb.

And of course, my recent piece for The National on Ata Abtekar and Alireza Mashayekhi.

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