Sat. Dec 10th, 2022

When Persian ethnic wind musician Amir Shahsar performs with Turkish Sufi musician Isa Nasim and Turkish vocalist Selçukhan Yılma on Monday evening, it should mark a uncommon encounter between the Persian and Turkish artists in Israel.

The three are performing as a part of the Oud Pageant, which is operating from November 3 to 12, hosted at Jerusalem’s Confederation Home and directed by Effie Benaya.

The three artists, accompanied by different musicians, will hint a musical journey of Sufi mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi, who left Persia within the thirteenth century on a journey to Turkey by way of Kurdistan and Armenia. It’s a efficiency that features vocals in Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Hebrew.

At a rehearsal final week, a number of days earlier than Nasim and Yılma arrived in Israel, Shahsar rehearsed with sitar participant Gilad Weiss, daf drummer Ruhama Carmel and santur participant Noam Shemesh, with Prof. Haviva Pedaya, who translated the poetry and readings being carried out.

The Iranian-born Shahsar, who lives in Israel, positioned the ney, an historic Iranian flute, on his higher lip and his cellphone on his leg, rehearsing the traditional Turkish tune that speaks of Sufi love and friendship.

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Shahsar is the “grasp of Persian music,” mentioned Pedaya of the Iranian-born musician. She described him as the one one who may weave collectively the night of Turkish and Persian music from the interval of the 1300s, when a lot of Persia and Turkey have been merged in a single empire.

“The idea simply made sense,” mentioned Pedaya. “Persian and Turkish collectively — that’s Amir, it’s these two shades collectively. He’s a cantor and a muezzin, he’s Jewish and Arab, he’s multilingual.”

Shahsar performs unique compositions which can be tinged together with his background of Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Center Japanese influences. His music is understood for combining the up to date and conventional, sacred and folks sounds.

The 58-year-old musician was born in Iran and performed the flute and Persian ney from a younger age. When he was 24 he left for Turkey, the place he discovered conventional Turkish and Sufi music, and the Turkish clarinet, earlier than immigrating to Israel in 1989, the place he added the oud to his repertoire.

Persian musician Amir Shahsar, acting at 2022 Oud Pageant (Courtesy Oud Pageant)

It was Shahsar who steered together with the Turkish musicians, however he additionally wanted fellow native artists “who may actually play something,” he mentioned.

His fellow band members embrace former college students and musical colleagues. Carmel discovered to play the daf, a large, gentle drum with Shehsi, whereas Weiss, who normally performs the fretless guitar, picked up the Persian sitar a few months in the past.

In the course of the rehearsal, Shemesh drew out piano-like notes from the santur, a biblical-era instrument that’s performed with slim metallic hammers that contact the keys — a form of hammered dulcimer.

The music they have been rehearsing was a prolonged, singsong poem about love and relationships, of non secular awakening and mystical ideas, mentioned Shahsar, providing an impromptu freestyle translation into Hebrew afterwards.

Haviva Pedaya is a poet and professor of Jewish historical past at Ben-Gurion College of the Negev, and head of the Elyachar Middle for Sephardi Heritage (Courtesy Haviva Pedaya)

“It’s completely satisfied music, however the phrases are a little bit painful,” laughed Pedaya. “It goes on and on and because it goes, the saddest issues will be laughed at by the music.”

The annual Oud Pageant is celebrating its twenty third yr with a full schedule of performances by visiting and native artists, together with Mira Awad, Palestinian hip-hop and digital music for youthful followers on the Mazkeka bar, and an evening celebrating Riff Cohen’s new album.

The youthful era can even provide their additions to the pageant, together with liturgical singers Shir Yifrach and Yahala Lachmish and a sequence of occasions within the Khan Theater courtyard with musicians from the Japanese music division of the Jerusalem Academy of Music.

Extra info and tickets on the Oud Pageant web site.

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