Parviz Meshkatian’s Heart Beat for People (II)

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

As such, the young Meshkatian reached the position of a great maestro in the Iranian music. Up until 1997, Meshkatian remained prolific and composed many pieces which were characterized by progressiveness while drawing on the music of the past Iranian musicians. In some of Meshkatian’s works, one can trace the influence of maestros such as Faramarz Payvar; however, this influence is so balanced that one can neither say that Meshkatian is a progressive and deconstructionist composer nor does he use cliché forms in his compositions.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Parviz Meshkatian did not take risks in composing to prevent a situation when his work is no longer under his control. He did not offer repetitious works which would lack novel forms either. In fact, he practiced equilibrium in his composition resulted from his personal attitude, culture and interaction with the elite.

With the appointment of Ataollah Mohajerani as the Minister of Culture in 1997 and the emergence of an era called “the Spring of Concerts” in Iran, Parviz Meshkatian who had become disappointed and depressed distanced himself from the society and retired himself! Probably his family problems worsened his depression and led to his isolation. He no longer went on stage; his works were published on and off with rarely any new compositions added to his oeuvre. Meshkatian’s avoided artistic activities until 2004.

In 2004, Meshkatian’s hard-working friend and colleague, Alireza Javaheri, convinced him that a performance by Aref Ensemble can revive his links with his old audience. Finally in the same year, Aref Ensemble composing of Meshkatian’s fellow musicians who had worked with him for years went on the stage of the Interior Ministry’s Hall. Shahram Nazeri, who had collaborated with Meshkatian in the Chavosh project was the singer. The concert ended but it could not live up to the expectations of its audience. However, after the concert some issues were raised by the ensemble musicians which disheartened Meshkatian and led him to isolate himself for the next three years. There were even rumors spread by the members of Aref Ensemble that Meshkatian intended to dissolve the ensemble. This rumor further disappointed Meshkatian.

After three years Alireza Javaheri came up with an initiative asking music writers who were active on the internet to write criticism on Meshkatian’s works and the necessity of attention to his inactivity. Along with the pieces written about Meshkatian’s oeuvre he was also invited to resume his activities. I also wrote an article entitled “Why Meshkatian?” in which I discussed the reason for choosing Meshkatian and not another musician. With the publication of the above-mentioned articles and their reception by readers, especially their welcoming comments on the writings, once again he decided to break his silence and go on stage.

On 5 January 2006, Parviz Meshkatian performed a few pieces during a ceremony held to commemorate Iraj Bastami (1957- 2003) at Vahdat Hall in Tehran. Having received huge applause from the audience for his performance, Meshkatian promised to hold another concert. The promised concert was held less than a year later at Vahdat Hall with Hamid Reza Nourbakhsh as the vocalist and an ensemble compromising of young and old members of Aref Ensemble. Despite shortcomings, this last concert was also very well-received by the audience but still sideline stories lingered with the ensemble and further isolated Meshkatian.

Before the controversial presidential election in 2009 in Iran, Parviz Meshkatian was believed to intend to give a concert with Mohammad Reza Shajarian; however, the post-election tensions once again disrupted his plans and resulted in his deeper disappointment. His sudden death at the age of 54 made headlines in 2009.

Even though his untimely death was painful, it was not unexpected as people believed that Meshkatian’s heart beat for his people.

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Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy

Written by Peyman Shirali Translated by Mahta Mottaghi Since many years ago, I had the intention of writing an article on the Italian maestro Ruggero Chiesa and his musical life; but his ingenuity and the immense legacy, which is impressive for not only me, but also almost everyone who knows him properly, made it hard for me…
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The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)

Conclusion

“Daf” is one of type of percussion instruments that has a long history and is commonly known as circular instruments (with a rim). In some tribes, Daf was used as the main instrument in festivity and joy ceremonies; in another tribe it was used as the main instrument for war and campaign ceremonies and some others used it for ritual and religious ceremonies.

From Past Days…

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (II)

Rouhollah Khaleghi was the master of composing beautiful melodies. He was the premier of the course of history which was first established by Ali Naghi Vaziri and which improved the Iranian music from simply a gathering music to the classical music of the country. First efforts to compose independent and instrumental music can be also traced in Khaleghi’s works.

History’s Impact on Evaluating a Work of Art

With this description, we have automatically included a criterion called “History”, Until we know the time of the creation of a work of art, we cannot judge whether it has been easy to create or not. Suppose that, in a historical study, we find a musical work that is similar in compositional techniques (including form, melody, context, and orchestration) to a minor work of the nineteenth century; however, our research proves that, this work dates back to 200 years prior to that date. Can we still consider this work insignificant? Definitely not! So this is where the first use of history-based judgment comes into play.

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (I)

Today, percussion instruments have such a high place in music that are an essential element of orchestras. This has attracted many people to this type of instrument with roots as old as the first humans. A historical study of music, shows that humans used the sound of these instruments to defend themselves against wild animals and, over time, for alerting each other, signaling their readiness and encouraging people for war, ritual ceremonies, dances, etc. in a manner that is still clearly visible in music and some ritual ceremonies.

Women and the Music Environment in Iran

The life territory of the female-male relations in the Iranian cultural context is basically a domestic territory and not a social-living one in the labour and leisure domains. To prove this, it only suffices to consider the Iranian men’s viewpoints about women. For the Iranian men, there are three perspectives regarding the women: mother, sister and wife. Mother represents the emotional territory; sister represents the logical territory at home while wife represents the sexual territory.

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (II)

With its simple physical structure and captivating sound, the Daf never belonged to a particular culture or location, and every nation had different usages for this instrument considering their dominant customs and traditions.

Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era (III)

Developments in Composing

Along with developments in the Iranian instruments, composition of the Iranian pieces developed as well. As a matter of fact, the developments of the two, mutually affected each other. In other words, instrumental developments led to developments in composition and vice versa.

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (II)

Gholamreza Khan Minbashian taught courses such as organology, orchestration of military music and harmony based on the books which were translated from French into Persian with the help of Aliakbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh (1846-1932).

Motherland Orchestra Broke the Spell of the Covid-19 Restrictions

The Motherland Orchestra staged the first concert since the outbreak of the pandemic under the baton of Nezhat Amiri. The orchestra went on stage on December 23-24, 2021 in memory of Rouhollah Khaleghi and Golnoush Khaleghi at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, Iran. Since the pandemic outbreak, concerts were held online and restrictions were imposed on in-person concerts.

Non-profit “Microtona” Project Released

Microtona is a sixty-eight-page Booklet with personal comments by the contributing microtonal artists. The booklet also includes a DVD which consists of 8 original video tracks and 9 original audio tracks. The project is an international one featuring unpublished pieces by composers from Iran, Japan, U.S., France, Austria, Germany and Belgium.

Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (III)

In this project, my specialized responsibility  was the basic drawings of the desired instrument with the help of engineering and mechanical software.  I have also the carried out phases related to engineering designs, related variables, and volume and weight calculations under Mr. Ziaei’s direct supervision from the very beginning. Regarding the challenges of this work, suffice it to say that the set of designs for the instrument lasted more than 9 months in the final stage of the project only.