If you enjoy the mysterious and powerful melodies that come with the music of the Middle East,then “Prayers on Tanbour” should be a definite addition to your musical library. Heyraneh’s vocal performance, paired with a savvy instrumental arrangement, is a devotional endeavor that connects the listener with the sacred and ancient themes of Iran.
According to the liner notes, tanbour is the oldest and most genuine Iranian string instrument. It holds a high place among the Yarsan people, to the point where its vibrations have been called “neda-al Hagh,” or the voice of the Divine. Heyraneh herself plays the instrument, while Jamie Papish and Christo Pellani contribute sounds from a diverse collection of drums and other percussion....
This album is based on sacred and ancient maqams of Yarsan, and is divided into five chapters: Longing, Surrendering, Bewildered, Union and Ecstasy. The music matches the experiences in each chapter, and the listener is immediately engaged, following the sounds in one’s own interpretation of the journey. Heyraneh dedicates this creation to all bold lovers, and her meaningful and sultry voice lets us know that she might be as bold as they come. In places, she plays the tanbour slowly, and in others, she speeds her style to accentuate the point she is making lyrically. Without Papish and Pellani, the songs would be absent of a foundational heartbeat.
Reflective, spiritual, and potent, “Prayers on Tanbour” is a good pick if you’re looking for something new to use for meditation practices. It would also compliment any peaceful group setting,and will leave members wishing the performers were live in their space.
Review by Lynette Diaz,
Hope Dance Magazine