“Persian Songs” Album – Nexus & Sepideh Raissadat
“Persian Songs” by Nexus Percussion & Sepideh Raissadat was released in September 2015.
Russell Hartenberger, a founding member of Nexus Percussion and a faculty at the University of Toronto, arranged the works of contemporary avant-garde American composer, poet and musician Louis Thomas Hardin, better known as Moondog, and Paris-based Iranian novelist, composer and musician Reza Ghassemi.
Nexus Percussion, dubbed as the “High Priests of the Percussion World” by the New York Times, was formed in 1971 by Bob Becker (mainly on xylophone and marimba), Bill Cahn (mainly xylophone), Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger, John Wyre, and Garry Kvistad.
For nearly half a century, the prestigious percussion ensemble has explored and added to its repertoire Western avant-garde, jazz and world music. Experiencing the World’s different musical traditions, through African, Japanese and Indonesian musicians, Nexus became interested in Persian traditional music through Sepideh Raissadat. As Russell Hartenberger notes “the pieces [of the Persian Songs] were originally recorded by the Moshtaq Ensemble on a CD titled 14 Cheerful Pieces (comp. Reza Ghassemi, Buda Musique, France 2010). Sepideh Raissadat, who was a student of mine at the University of Toronto, and who had sang on the original recording, introduced me to the music.”
“Persian Songs” is the result of months of work and two concerts in Kitchener and the University of Toronto. For the occasion of the Persian new year (March 2015), Voice of America Persian TV channel also featured a one-hour exclusive program on this collaboration.
Beyond the rich artistic and human experience she gained collaborating with Nexus Percussion and each one of its virtuosi members, Sepideh believes that it is probably the first time that a major contemporary Western ensemble is arranging Persian traditional music for their own instruments – marimbas, vibraphones and xylophones, gong and cajon. Sepideh says: “In this sense, this album will be an important step in introducing Persian classical music to audiences who might never have had the occasion of listening to it. Vice-versa, it is a chance for Persian music listeners to discover the works of the masters of percussion.”
The distribution of the album is to be announced soon.
Related: Concert at the University of Toronto
Label: Nexus Records (Nexus Record #10926) 2015
Produced by Russell Hartenberer and Ray Dillard
Engineering by Douglas Romanow
Mixing and editing by Ray Dillard and Russell Hartenberger
Mastering by Graemme Brown at Zen Mastering
Recorded at Noble Street Studios, Toronto, 2014
CD cover by Aydin Bahramlouian
CD and booklet design by Bonnie Sheckter
CD liner notes by Russell Hartenberger
© and (P) 2015 Russell Hartenber
This post is also available in: Persian