Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra is an Iranian percussion orchestra featuring 40 lady percussionists. The Orchestra was established as Iran’s largest all-female percussion orchestra in 2008 by Ms. Minoo Rezaei under the title Naerika Percussion Orchestra and changed its name to Avaye Naerika in 2017.
In the Pahlavi Persian language, Naerika means a prominent woman. As implied by its name, the Orchestra has been successful in bringing together prominent female percussionists who are committed to promote percussion music. Minoo Rezaei who conducts the orchestra is a Daf player and composes the pieces which Avaye Naerika performs.
One of the main missions of the Orchestra is to show the capabilities of Iranian lady musicians in performing percussion instruments and to demonstrate their knowledge of rhythms. Drawing on the virtuosity of its percussionists, the Orchestra has successfully achieved one of its most important goals which is to establish the effective relationship that percussion instruments can make with their audience.
The style which Avaye Naerika pursues is a combination of percussion instruments, vocalists and in some parts bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments. The group also tries to establish a common language by combining folk and ethnic cultures through music. Visual effects are also used during Avaye Naerika’s performances to create an ambience which is conducive to a better reception of the music.
Since its very first concert at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall in 2011, the Orchestra was well received by the audience and their enthusiasm has led to frequent concerts in Tehran and other cities in Iran. Avaye Naerika Orchestra has also performed in Istanbul, Turkey and is the first all-female percussion orchestra which was invited to “The Drum Cafe” festival in Kenya which is held annually.
Avaye Naerika has been performing pieces in collaboration with male percussionists in different concerts. A piece entitled “Dialogue” composed by Minoo Rezaei involves a musical dialogue between male and female percussionists.
Bowed string instruments such as the Kamancheh and plucked string instruments such as the Oud accompany the percussion orchestra for pieces such as “the Sea” and regional Iranian pieces like Kordi and Lori pieces.
Avaye Naerika Orchestra uses instruments such as Daf, Dayereh, Tonbak, Tabla and Darbuka and instruments such as spring drum, wood block, singing ball, egg shaker, etc. to create sound effects.
Avaye Naerika’s latest concert was held at Vahdat Hall on February 26, 2019.
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From Past Days…
On occasion of the 8th anniversary of launching HarmonyTalk Online Journal on 6 April 2012, Reza Ziaei, master luthier and researcher on classical music instruments (violin family), announced that the first phase of the project to improve Qeychak has borne fruit. The new instrument would feature a bowl of ribs and the material used for the surface would be wooden. Carrying out the second phase of the project took more than 7 years engaging the new members of Reza Ziaei’s Workshop. In this phase, new researches were conducted from different aspects on the Qeychak and the modern versions of the instrument which were introduced previously by other instrument makers. The available versions of the instrument were studied in terms of their weak and strong technical features.
When the author was working on the piece “Playing Love” by Ennio Morricone (from the legend of 1900), he realized a failure of the Lip Technique. Needing to play a chord in the 14th position of the guitar and in order to complete the harmony, it is necessary to play a harmonic note on the 7th or 5th position; it was not possible to touch the string to play this harmonic note, because the Lip Technique is used for getting the notes and not to touch the string and producing harmonic notes. Naturally, the only possible way to touch the string was to use the nose at the required position and playing the note with the right hand, and this was the best option the author found to how to play such harmonic notes, and where the Nose Technique was generated.
With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.
Gholam Hossein Banan was born in 1911 in Tehran. He was born in an affluent art-loving family who were Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1848-1896)’s relative. The Qajar King was his mother’s uncle on her father’s side. He learnt his first lessons in music while his father sang Iranian avaz (improvised rhythmic-free singing), he then attended classes by the renowned Iranian composer, Morteza Neydavoud (1900-1990) along with his sisters; the composer is, therefore, considered as his first teacher. He then learnt Iranian avaz under the supervision of Mirza Taher Zia Resaee (Zia-o Zakerin) and Naser Seif in an oral manner.
Creating sound continuity between two notes in the source and destination positions when left hand position changes and “two different finger numbers” are involved is called portamento. Portamento can be performed on single string or two neighboring strings and with hand moving on fingerboard either upward or downward.
One of the most important criteria for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music is number of times the piece has been performance by different ensembles and orchestras in different eras. This belief has become so pervasive in some societies, such as Iranian society, that it is considered the only criterion for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music.
The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs was held in Niavaran Cultural Center, in Tehran, Iran on Feb. 28th, 2015. The initiator of the festival was Sajjad Pourghanad, Iranian music writer, researcher, founder of the festival and Persian setar and tar player.
In heterophonic variant, two performers perform a single melody simultaneously and change it. Performing and changing a single melody simultaneously by two performers leads to the coincidence of different voices.
At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.
3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.