Ensemble Kamaan fuses elements of traditional Persian music with folk and contemporary regional Persian music to create a unique and engaging sound world. The ensemble is composed of Showan Tavakol (Kamancheh), Amir Amiri (Santur) and Pasha Karami (Tombak).
Musician and composer Showan Tavakol has a very strong audio and recording background. He holds a master’s degree in composition from University of Tehran and is now studying composition with Ana Sokolovic at Université de Montreal. Amir is a composer and santur player who has created several successful ensembles across Canada a variety of musical genres. He has composed music for theatre, film and modern dance, and has experience with video projection. Pasha is a seasoned percussionist, having played for over a decade in Europe. He has a mature understanding of musical texture and a distinct melodic approach. The members of Ensemble Kamaan have been collaborating to create and perfect new pieces that express their common Iranian roots. The music is composed and ready and the musicians have incorporated visual and whirling elements to construct a total production entitled “Orientations: Paths that Lead Everywhere”.
La montréalaise Tanya Evanson, an internationally renowned and classically trained whirling dervish, traces the paths to everywhere through the portals represented in the work of Iranian/Canadian photographer Nirvan Fadaei Moghadam. Everything in the universe turns – planets around a sun, Earth on its axis, protons, electrons and neutrons in our bodies and in all physical matter. The Whirling Dervish performs the Sema ritual (listening, turning) to align with this basic, cosmic movement. “Dervish” literally means “doorway” and is thought to be an entrance from the material world to the spiritual world. As this ritual takes place, we incorporate a series of photographs of doors and windows of regions of Iran (Northern Caspian sea, Sistan Baluchistan, Azerbaijan and Lorestan). Some of the photos show doors and windows, open and closed.
Persian classical music has strong roots in folk and regional music. The focus of Ensemble Kamaan is to find musical pathways and doorways between the regional and the traditional facets of todays classical Iranian music. In Iranian regional music the spiritual aspect is in harmony with nature and the land, and more often than not, some melodic passages have been used as elements for healing and or remembrance of life events, such as tragic love stories or great battles. We focus on the connection that still exist between music and spiritual tradition.
The combination of photos projected from specific regions and the music of that region united with the movement of the dervish creates sonic and visual movements, which are complementary in nature. Our aim is to use this imagery to bring to life our music for Canadian audiences, to whom this music may be unfamiliar. The visual elements (dance and photos) will enhance the experience for the audience.