Kayhan Kalhor, a virtuoso of a four-stringed Persian fiddle known as the kamancheh, collaborated with New York modernist string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, for SILENT CITY, after the ensemble travelled to his native Iran. This stirring collection finds his evocative leads meshing beautifully with the quartet's orchestrations on a series of movements based on Iranian folktales.
It has been nearly a decade since Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan recorded The Wind for ECM. During that long interval, the pair have played together so often, they appear to have perfected a musical language that walks not only between various musical traditions but through them simultaneously, coming through the other side with something timeless. Kalhor is an Iranian master of the kamancheh (spike fiddle). He has a relentlessly mercurial musical mind. It's been displayed not only in his work as a solo artist, with the duo Ghazal, and the ensemble Dastan, but also in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Erzincan is regarded as the greatest living practitioner of the Anatolian baglama tradition.
What beautiful music! Kalhor draws so much drama out of every note from his kamancheh (an Iranian string instrument played with a bow). The plaintive vocals of Aynur accent this drama with rich emotional tones. Notes from Gambarov’s piano fall into place quietly, brilliantly, & so meaningfully! The same can be said for the subtle contributions of Qoçgiri’s tembûr (a fretted Iranian string instrument). Quietly remarkable.
The Wind is Kalhor's second musical journey outside of his native land, this time to Turkey to meet and learn from the premier baglama (saz) master, Erdal Erzincan. Kalhor plays kamanche (Iranian spike fiddle), which is usually bowed, and thus contrasts with the plucked sounds of both the sitar and oud-like baglama.Made up of twelve unnamed "Parts" that run into each other, The Wind is really one long improvisation that rises and falls, inhales and exhales as Kalhor and Erzincan become one musician with one mind.
Iranian kamanche virtuoso and innovative composer Kayhan Kalhor is known for his international collaborations with cellist Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Persian-Indian ensemble, and the Brooklyn Rider string quartet . I Will Not Stand Alone, is a spellbinding meditation on one of the most difficult stages in his life. Kalhor was part of the Green Movement civil uprising in Tehran, which was later squashed by the Iranian regime after disputed national elections. This was certainly an intense, emotional period, where darkness and violence seemed to be taking over. Through Kalhor's music and its immediate connection to the people, hope prevails.