Traditional Iranian Music
Getting in Tune is a collection of pieces performed on the Persian-tuned piano mostly accompanied by tombak and at times by vocals and the daf. The interesting thing about this music is that a Western instrument, namely the piano, with fixed notes, is used to successfully express some of the intricacies that the Radif-based music demands.
The essence of traditional Iranian music has been, for the most part, encapsulated in and passed on through the "radif" system. Radif, Farsi for series or row, is a large collection of musical motifs, each called a 'gusheh'. A gusheh, Farsi for corner or bit, is characterized by its unique melodic and/or rhythmic pattern and serves as the primary basis for improvisation and composition. The overall collection of gushehs are grouped into seven modes or dastgahs. Each Dastgah is primarily distinguished by its signature scale. The seven dastgahs are Chahargah, Homayun, Mahoor, Nava, Rastpanjgah, Segah, and Shur.
Segah (track 1), Chahargah (track 3), and Shur (track 4) are totally improvised.
Deylaman (track 2) is inspired by a folk chant that Abolhasan Saba came across while studying the music of Northern Iran in the 1930’s. Named after the city of Deylaman, this melody was originally performed by G. H. Banan accompanied by the Golha Orchestra, and arranged by composer/pianist, Javad Maroofi. Lyrics are by the 13th century Iranian poet and prose master, Saadi. The poem, loosely translated goes as follows:
I am tied up in the chain of your love,
Like a deer caught in the lasso
Sometimes I weep at my incurable pain
Sometimes I laugh at my unsettled state
I am not the crazy lover Majnun to abandon my beloved
If you're wise enough, don't advise me in vain.
Zarb-e Osool (track 5) - Ramin first heard this piece performed by his father on the violin back in 1981 at a private gathering at their home. "My father played this melody at the end of an elaborate improvisation of dastgah Nava on the violin and when I asked him about it, he said 'it is a version of Zarbe Osool and most likely associated with an ancient dance form'", recalls Ramin.
Ramin Zoufonoun, firstname.lastname@example.org, piano. Born into a family of musicians in Tehran, Iran, Ramin owes much of his knowledge of Iranian music to his father and mentor, Mahmoud Zoufonoun. Ramin’s primary focus in music is improvisation on Persian-tuned piano, inspired by Morteza Mahjoobi. Ramin also improvises on the tar, double-bellied, six-stringed, plucked instrument, as a soloist as well as a member of the Zoufonoun Ensemble lead by Mahmoud Zoufonoun. A resident of Northern California, Ramin is the founder of Z Venue, www.zvenue.org, a non-profit organization aiming to inspire and educate through artistic expressions and community involvement.
Amir Abbas Etemadzadeh, email@example.com, tombak, daf, was born in Tehran, Iran. He studied tombak with Amir Hejazi, Mir-aali and Kambiz Ganjehie. At the age of 18, Amir began teaching the tombak as well as supervision of Orf – music instruction. He studied the daf, composition and orchestration and led the school band at the Sureh University. A resident of Southern California, Amir continues to study and teach music while recording and performing throughout the US.
Jamshid Zarringhalam, firstname.lastname@example.org, vocals, was born in Tehran, Iran. As a child, he was inspired by his father and brother who played the tar and the santoor, respectively. As a teenager, he performed on Radio Isfahan and several other venues in Iran. His primary influence is G.H. Banan. He studied singing with Rubik Gregorian. He has collaborated with numerous ensembles including the Khaleghi Orchestra and the Zoufonoun Ensemble. Jamshid resides in Northern California.