Sat.13.JanTurbine Hall


Rahe Jonoun (Insanity Route)

Behdad Babaei (1973) and Navid Afghah (1970) are representatives of a contemporary interpretation of the rich tradition of Iranian classical music. Both musicians come from musical families and received their training from great masters of Iranian music (Meshkatian, Pirniakan, Darvishi, Shajarian for Behdad, and Farahmand, Roshan for Navid). They have collaborated with renowned names such as Shajarian, Nazeri, Nourbakhsh, Eftekhari, Bastami, and Azarsina. In addition to their national and international concert careers, they pass on their knowledge through their lessons and masterclasses.

The album "Rahe Jonoun" (Insanity Route) reflects a dark period of mental unrest and tension from a few years ago. The unsettling feelings found their way into a haunting musical testimony, which, thanks to great spiritual efforts, exudes a remarkable sense of balance. Slow, introspective sections (avazi) alternate with fast, restless sections (zarbi), and a great arc of tension unfolds from the first note to the last. All of this follows the rules of Iranian classical music art, but it flows so organically and with so much personality that it appears as a great free improvisation to uninitiated ears.

The avazi sections are truly improvisations based on the Iranian modal system (radif), but they are molded and shaped to fully express the player's mental state. We can completely follow the wandering soul. The metric sections are semi-composed but still contain many improvisational elements. Through virtuosity in often fast, irregular meters, the emotions are completely unleashed in an attempt to exorcise them and calm the restless soul. Once again, a search for balance in imbalance, order in chaos.

The socio-political unrest in Iran is interwoven throughout the entire album as a recurring thread and source of inspiration. Social oppression is a recurring refrain in the music, with references to people's freedom movements and student protests.

Behdad Babaei and Navid Afghah's style is very recognizable, and the discerning ear will detect many similarities between their recent album and the previous album "Jouye Noghreye Mahtab" (Silver Creek in the Moonlight). The technique is equally astonishing, and the story is equally captivating, but the different interpretations and details demonstrate endless creativity and emotional depth.

In April 2023, "Rahe Jonoun" won a Silver Medal at the prestigious American Global Music Awards.

(text: Liselotte Sels)


saturday 13 january 2024

doors. 7:30 pm
concert . 8:00 pm

presale: €17
presale w/Uitpas, -18y. & groups: €14
box office: €20
UitPas opportunity rate: €4

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