Artist: The Soley Ensemble
Songs: I Wish to Let All Go [based on a poem by Attar] + It Is All Hu, There Is Nothing But Hu [excerpt] [based on a poem by Dr. Javad Nourbakhsh]
Recorded at Aga Khan Museum Auditorium, March 4, 2017.
I first encountered local Persian singer Soley a little while back at an informal session at The Tranzac, and was struck as much by his gravitas and dignified demeanour as by his voice. Since then, I'd been keeping an eye out for a chance to see him perform in his own element, which is why I jumped at this chance to check out this Nowruz celebration in one of the city's most beautiful venues, the auditorium at the striking Aga Khan Museum. The evening was titled "Mystic Persian Music and Poetry", featuring Soley's adaptations of Rumi and other poets.
Framed by spoken segments in translation (stirringly delivered by Sheniz Janmohamed) and featuring hypnotic sacred whirling dance from Farzad AttarJafari, the group headed for the boundless with their acoustic qawwali grooves. Soley's backing group included Siavash Kaveh (kamancheh), Ali Razmi (tar), Sardar Mohamadjani (oud), Bamdad Fotouhi (tombak) and Zohreh Shahbazy (daf). It's a genuine treat in our city to have encounters such as this so near at hand — there's so much wonderful music outside our usual bubbles.