Persian Arts Collective of Austin Presents (PACA) : |
Houston, Texas - Join us for the debut performance of MicroTone (Reez-Parde.)
The evening will host world class modern & classical Persian improvisation & composition by musician and composer, Fared Shafinury, a critically acclaimed Persian setar virtuoso and vocalist; accompanied by master Persian percussionist, Ali Tarkesh, on the tonbak, daf, & dayere. The evening will be filled with classical Persian poetry from the 12th-14th century with Rumi, Hafez, and Sa'di, strung together with stunning visual design and animation by award winning graphic and animation artists Naghmeh Farzaneh and Kourosh Beigpour.
A word or two about the project:
[To say simply, Persian microtones are infinitely sequenced notations that occur on the traditional seven point scale. They exist in all twelve Persian modes (dastgahs) and are emphasized in certain melodic frameworks (gushes). specifically they are found on the meridian halfway points between the various flats & sharps with respect to the natural note at hand. This might be a bit dense to process if one is not all too familiar with concepts of Persian music theory; however, microtones can also be seen and understood in another way entirely. They can be seen and felt as part of the natural world, where music becomes an expression of how people understand both the physics & mysticism behind the cosmos and the world they live in.
This connection between music as an art form and the science of the natural world spans the ancient history of classical & traditional Persian music to the modern day. In the words of a twelfth century Persian philosopher, Al Farabi, "An art, which has an aim to achieve the beauty, is called a philosophy or in the absolute sense it is named wisdom." It's clear that Al Farabi equated art to philosophy, and hence, he understood the world through the looking glass of beauty.
If we attempt to bypass the discussion of music theory, we can try to understand the concept of the microtone on a different level. Microtones are certain vibrations that oscillate and linger between different spaces in time, not unlike the orbit of the moon around the Earth, or the Earth around the sun. They can act as epic cliff hangers & moments of ponder in a composition, or conversational thresholds in the separation between the notes. They can convey a distinct color, thought, or emotion. They can play with shadow and light, just as the moon waxes and wanes.
Persian microtonal scales can be felt deeply in the heart, evoking mystical intervals in time and space. These scales were historically reserved to be performed at certain times of the year, month, and day. They can be felt like the idea of purgatory or a limbo state as so to speak. They are neither light nor dark, round or straight. Sometimes an interval of music that contains a microtone can evoke feelings associated to the very few minutes before a sunrise or a sunset, when twilight both cloaks and illuminates the wolf's hunt, or the very few moments post sunset, when fairies begin to dance the night away. With smaller and denser intervals in Persian music, a finer ear is trained, where every nuance is felt and transmitted between the musician and listener. Tonight I welcome you to listen, look, and most importantly feel for these etherial spaces in time. - fs]
Cullen recital hall (View)
4001 Mt. Vernon St.
Houston, TX 77006