Tag Archives: Mahsa Vahdat

Collaboration Between Kronos Quartet and Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat Tops the Transglobal World Music Chart

Placeless, the album featuring renowned American string ensemble Kronos Quartet and acclaimed Iranian singers Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat is the number one album in April 2019 on the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless

This recording is a milestone for us,” says Mahsa Vahdat. “The wonderful musicians in Kronos Quartet have given our music new dimensions. Our lives are constantly changing in relation to time and place. Our home and where we belong – this is all over the globe. By performing poems from Persia’s classical era, we have been coming closer and closer to finding an organic connection between what we express in our art and the way we live.”

The April 2019 Chart

  1. Kronos Quartet and Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless – Kirkelig Kulturverksted
  2. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Miri – Outhere
  3. Le Trio Joubran – The Long March – Cooking Vinyl
  4. Waed Bouhassoun – Safar: Les Âmes Retrouvées – Buda Musique
  5. Tartit – Amankor / The Exile – Riverboat / World Music Network
  6. Refugees for Refugees – Amina – Muziekpublique
  7. Kel Assouf – Black Tenere – Glitterbeat
  8. Belonoga – Through the Eyes of the Earth – NarRator Records
  9. Leyla McCalla – The Capitalist Blues – Jazz Village / PIAS
  10. Dhafer Youssef – Sounds of Mirrors – Anteprima
  11. Urna Chahar-Tugchi featuring Kroke – Ser – Urna Chahar-Tugchi / UCT
  12. Oratnitza – Alter Ethno – Fusion Embassy
  13. Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin – Karin – Muziekpublique
  14. Alim Qasimov and Michel Godard – Awakening – Buda Musique
  15. Olcay Bayır – Rüya: Dream for Anatolia – ARC Music
  16. Las Hermanas Caronni – Santa Plástica – Les Grands Fleuves
  17. Salif Keita – Un Autre Blanc – Naïve
  18. Xiomara Fortuna – Son Verdad – Ileakwa Producciones
  19. Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martínez – Duologue – Mack Avenue
  20. Adir Jan – Layla – Trikont / BGST
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Kronos Quartet to Release an Album with Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat

American chamber music ensemble Kronos Quartet has recorded an album titled Placeless (Kirkelig Kulturverksted) with Iranian artists Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat.

This recording is a milestone for us,” says Mahsa Vahdat. “The wonderful musicians in Kronos Quartet have given our music new dimensions. By performing poems from Persia’s classical era, we have been coming closer to finding an organic connection between what we express in our art and the way we live.”

Kronos’ artistic director, founder and violinist David Harrington adds “We’re always trying to learn as much as we can, and now, recording with Mahsa and Marjan, we sometimes are able to make sounds we have never before heard from our instruments.”

The release date is March 1, 2019.

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The Impassioned Splendor of Mahsa Vahdat

Mahsa Vahdat a cappella – The Sun Will Rise (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 2016)

Okay, I am going to lapse into my inner icky fangirl for a moment or two. One of my favorite record labels, the Oslo, Norway based Kirkelig Kulturverksted and one of my favorite producers, Kirkelig Kulturverksted’s very own Erik Hillestad have put out The Sun Will Rise with the stunning Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat.
For anyone who has read some of my reviews I have a longstanding devotion to female Iranian singers like Ms. Vahdat, her sister Marjan Vahdat, Azam Ali, Parisa and Mamak Khadem.

Mahsa Vahdat is a particular favorite for her collaborations on the Lullabies from the Axis of Evil and recordings such as Songs from a Persian Garden, Traces of an Old Vineyard, I am Eve with Marjan Vahdat, Twinklings of Hope also with Marjan Vahdat, A Deeper Tone of Longing: Love Duets Across Civilizations with Mighty Sam McClain and Sent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations also with Mighty Sam McClain.

With a voice that is as rich as it is expressive, Mahsa Vahdat is the certainly the gold standard for Iranian vocalists and so it comes as no surprise that Ms. Vahdat would craft and entirely a cappella recording. What is the real surprise of The Sun Will Rise are the extraordinary lengths Ms. Vahdat, Mr. Hillestad and crew took to dazzle listeners.

Delving into a wealth of poetry from likes of Forough Farrokhzad, Rumi, Saadi, Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari, Aref Ghazvini and others, Ms. Vahdat takes her hauntingly graceful vocals on the road to record a cappella in venues like the barrel-vaulted mausoleum of painter Emanuel Vigeland at The Emanuel Vigeland Museum in Oslo, Norway; the Eglise Saint-Claude in Provence, France; the Iglesia de Santa Maria in Requena, Spain; and the Palacios Nazaries in La Alhambra in Granada, Spain; as well as venues in Poland and Turkey. Restricted from performing publicly in Iran, Ms. Vahdat chose to seek out those ancient places where her vocals would rise up ancient walls, age worn bricks and history steeped ceilings. The effect is glorious.

With snippets of the captured sounds of passing birds, water trickling through fountains and the occasional bell, The Sun Will Rise is quite simply strikingly lovely. Ms. Vahdat’s achingly poignant vocals echo throughout The Emanuel Vigeland Museum on opening title track “The Sun Rises” so that the listener can’t help but be enchanted.

Moving through such tracks as “My Eyes Brim with the Sea” with lyrics taken the 14th century poet Iranian Hafez at the Eglise Saint-Claude in Provence to “Show Your Face” with poetry from the 13th century Persian poet Rumi and sung in the Iglesia de Santa Maria in Spain to “The Pair of Your Hair” with poetry from the 11th century Persian poet Baba Taher and recorded in the Crimea Memorial Church in Istanbul, Turkey, The Sun Will Rise is enchanting.

Completely devoid of gimmicks or artifice, Ms. Vahdat’s vocals implore, revere and appeal to the greater grace on each of the 21 tracks of The Sun Will Rise.

Listeners are treated to everything from the wideness of cathedral spaces to the most intimate of spaces with equal measures of clarity of sound and the impassioned splendor of Ms. Vahdat’s vocals.

Stunningly spare, Mahsa Vahdat never sounded so richly worked as in this recording.

Buy The Sun Will Rise in the Americas

Buy The Sun Will Rise in Europe

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