If one were to single out one defining descriptor for composer/pianist extraordinaire, Arash Behzadi, it would be “expect the unexpected.”
Whether performing in the middle of a frozen Lake Simcoe, the World Trade Center Club in Dubai, in pouring rain in Geneva or amid the charming cobbled streets of Toronto’s famed Distillery District at the height of Panamania during the Pan Am Games, Arash intuitively understands how to captivate audiences young and old. It’s not uncommon for people to be moved to tears. Children listen with rapt attention.
A Canadian Iranian, Arash has recently made the move from the more traditional Persian folk music that graced his previous albums to a new direction with his latest album, With Closed Eyes, a compelling collection of his own haunting piano solo compositions.
Arash caught Toronto’s attention when he was invited to play at Panamania in Toronto’s hub of arts, culture and entertainment, the always buzzing Distillery District. The following week he joined a prominent line-up of musicians, dancers, choirs, poets, visual artists and film makers from around the world to play at Tirgan, the largest celebration showcasing the richness and diversity of traditional and contemporary Iranian arts and culture in the world.
He has also turned his life-changing experience with yoga into a passionate musical pursuit providing live music for yoga events.
Arash describes his music as a platform that invites the interplay of additional art forms as he does in Joy of Storm, a music video collaboration with renowned dancer/choreographer Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam in which the dancer unleashes his emotion in a downpour, fully giving himself up to elements that are greater than him.
Pop music today, even New Age music, can be very busy with lots of orchestration Arash says. This can make for a short shelf life. “Piano is very warm, and I feel with just that one instrument you can touch people’s hearts. It’s fitting for all ages, all eras, all cultures, much like the music of Philip Glass.”
“I pour my emotion into the ivory,” Arash adds. “I want to make music that lasts, that moves people, that is universal.”