Iran was in the news again this week, as its president gave a theology lecture to members of the United Nations General Assembly. Iran's nuclear program and involvement with the conflict in Iraq could hardly be more controversial, and all the political smoke effectively obscures the work of Persian artists and musicians working to enrich an artistic tradition that extends back before recorded history.
Parvaz is the Persian word for flight, and it's a rich metaphor for a culture that has grown wings outside its homeland. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we fly into the sublime world of Persian fusion music...on a program called PARVAZ (Flight).
The rise of a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Iran in the 1980s had one unintended consequence: it helped to resurrect Persian classical music, which had been devalued in the era of Western cultural influences. The cross-cultural process continues today, underground in Iran, and in Europe and the U.S., where Persian artists are combining elements from their traditions with contemporary sounds and instruments from other cultures.
Music is by JAMSHIED SHARIFI, KAYHAN KALHOR & the BROOKLYN RIDER String Quartet, MAHSA & MARJAN VAHDAT, and SHAHROKH YADEGARI.