My Music Journey
I was born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran. During my early years in elementary school, I discovered my inner passion for Persian classical music. This passion eventually led me to a traditional instrument making workshop, where my brother bought me a small Setar made of mulberry wood. In 1997, I began the elementary Setar course with Hamidreza Moradi. After that, I attended the intermediate and advanced course of Setar and theory of Persian classical music with the great Setar master and virtuoso Massoud Shaari in Tehran. In 2010, I moved to Germany to continue my studies in engineerung. Of course I brought with me everything I had gained from the treasure of Persian classical music.
My musical style is based on the traditional repertoire of the Radif, which is a vast treasure of melodic figures, rhythms and scales that have been passed down orally by the masters of Persian classical music to their students for centuries. Furthermore I am very interested in exploring and reassembling the ancient music from the past centuries. I believe that these ancient repertoires are the roots and references of Persian classical music and form the basis for the composition and improvisation that has evolved from them.
I am very interested in musical dialogues with musicians from other cultures. I believe that this is a way of communication beyond languages. My goal is to portray the magic of spiritual music from this communication, creating enchanting and passionate melodies. When I play my music, I feel like I am embarking on a journey, and I am happy when I can take my listeners with me.
Concert in Bochum, Germany Photo: Omid Pouryousefi
Setar is a Persian musical instrument dating back many thousands of years. Setar literally means "three strings", but the modern version of setar has four strings because of the doubled bass string. The lute-shaped instrument has a small bowl and long neck. The instrument is not completely standardized, so there are many variations in terms of material, shape, size and sound. Setar is mostly made of mulberry wood, but walnut and maple wood are also used. The strings are made of steel, brass and bronze, which are played with the nail of the point finger. Because of its small size, low and charming tone and lightness, Setar is generally an instrument for personal and meditative music.
Setar made of maple wood by Mahmoud Sadegh-Mohammadi
Radif and Dastgah
Radif in Persian classical music is the repertoire of scales, melodic figures and rhythmic patterns arranged in an ascending order of tone and tempo in modal musical systems called Dastgah. Radif consists of seven major Dastgahs, with help of which the musician or singer can represent different musical moods through improvisation and composition. Dastgah is not formed until it is properly performed. During the past centuries, the Dastgahs has been extended and passed orally by the masters of Persian classical music to their disciples in vocal or instrumental forms, and is considered as the base and foundation of the Persian classical music.