Iranian Cultural Experience

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I attended an Iranian performance by Sahba Motallebi and Naghmeh Farahmand at the Cedar Multicultural Perfomance Center on Wednesday, September 20th. Sahba played the tar while Naghmeh played the tonbak and the daf. The works performed were improvisational, but guided by life events. They did not introduce their first piece, but only their names and friendly greetings. After a brief explanation, Sahba started to play a song influenced by the energy of mothers. Naghmeh then played a solo featuring her skill on the daf. The final improvisation portrayed the struggles of both women from the war in Iran. The first audience I was introduced to was outside the Cedar Center. The plaza was filled with people of all ages and ethnicities. The same…show more content…
In the audience, people swayed to the sound of the music and rhythm. Feeding off this energy, the two women closed their eyes and play their corresponding instruments. I think the most common characteristic I saw of those watching was how memorized they looked. I can attest; I as well felt captured within the melody of the music. The performance incorporated the Tar, which played the improvised melody, and the tonbak, keeping the rhythm. The tonbak held the rhythm consistently, while the tar varied speeds very often. The sound of the melody was made by both strumming and plucking. The plucking of the notes put more of an emphasis on them, as they were short and quick. Whereas the strumming provided depth as a drone. There was a wide range of notes played during the melody, which could be followed by a scale as they were plucked. The melody was characterized by the warm, nasal, thick accent of the two instruments together. There was evidence of an ostinato within the strumming of a certain scale. The melody was improvised based off the energy of the crowd. There were segments of the melody that were broken down. These parts could be identified by the changing between plucking and strumming the tar. During some components of plucking, the tonbak would stop, which really put an emphasis on the sounds coming from the tar. The plucked notes were short, dramatic, but simple. Some were louder than others, but the transition was smooth as she
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