Saturday, February 13, 2010

Texas artist breathes new life into old Iranian protest anthem

In early December of 2009, a new, hypnotic version of the 1970s protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestaniyeh Man' (My schoolfriend) appeared on the web site of Where Is My Vote - New York.

The fresh take on the old classic was arranged and performed by Fared Shafinury, whose commanding voice and flowing setar instrumentation seemed at odds with his 27 years. The Texas-born Iranian-American was accompanied by his band Tehranosaurus: Jason Mackenzie on Tabla, Drummer Andy Beaudoin, Chris Ledesma on Bass and Guitar, Bryan Emmon Hall on Violin, and Joey Santori on Cello.

Two days ago, Where Is My Vote - New York posted a video clip of Shafinury's song with animation by Simon Ampel. The combination is electrifying:


'Shafinury has had the privilege of studying under some of Iran’s most prominent Masters including: Ostad Mozaffari, Ostad Zolghadr, Ostad Shaari, Ostad Soukuti and Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi,' according to the artist's web site.

He lived for two years in Iran before returning to the United States in 2008. While in Tehran, he was detained for a short while by the police for organizing an impromptu concert in a park. He recounted the incident to a local Austin television channel:



Shafinury recorded his soon-to-be-released d├ębut album in Tehran's Avayeh Darya studio. The following clip of the song 'Arianaz' was filmed in Tehran...

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