Friday, October 16, 2009

Persian music ROCKS!

I performed at a wedding last week that rocked my face! The bride was Latina and the groom was Iranian. They had two ceremonies, one traditional Christian type and then a Persian wedding ceremony followed that. A cocktail hour followed with a rockin' Mariachi band and then into the banquet room for dinner and dancing.

Fans of rock music know Led Zeppelin's Kashmir is based in Arabic musical phrasing. The drums go at half speed with triplets on the guitar advancing upward creating tension and the phrasing goes in and out of phase, compared to the drums, with alternating measures. Most western (European) music divides notes by halves, quarters, eighths, sixteenths and so on. Some Persian music divides it in thirds and then puts it into musical phrases in 5/4 time signatures and such. It's incredibly complex. There are lots of 5ths and minor 6th notes that I love.

Traditionally, the Bride and Groom will take the dance floor at the end of dinner for a first dance and then open the dance floor for the guests to celebrate. Guests wanted to dance from the moment they entered the room. I hated to shut it down to get them to sit down and eat the meal that had been prepared.

I had been provided with a few CDs of some Persian music, some of which was of terrible, terrible recording quality. I wish I knew the background of some of those songs. They may have been historic live recordings of highly regarded and loved national artists. Even though the fidelity was poor, the opening notes of some of those songs were met with absolute jubilation and celebrants could NOT keep thier seats. They just HAD to dance to this or that song.

Some of that Persian music mixed with other Latin beats made for a great night of dancing.

Thanks Jazmine and Hessam, you guys ROCK!

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