In this album, a selection of classical, traditional and modern Persian music is performed on the basis of a modal system, namely Isfahan from the 'Advanced Repertoire for the Santour'. Aliases were chosen for the track names of this album that conveyed at least one aspect of Persian nostalgic feelings. Nevertheless, those aliases could also speak to the original names of the songs or compositions. For example, 'Gates of Isfahan' on the one hand can remind us of Iran's Golden Age under the Safavid Dynasty and on the other hand, metaphorically it can mean the overture to the mode of Isfahan. The classics included in this album are some popular songs from the 20th century Iranian composers. They are rearranged for advanced level santour and juxtaposed against other pieces that are compatible within their hierarchy in the modal structure of Isfahan. The last piece is the artist's interpretation of nostalgia: familiar-sounding and soothing, yet forward-looking and climactic, acknowledging the past while envisioning a brighter future. The santour (also spelled santur and santoor) is a trapezoidal box zither, or more commonly known as a hammered dulcimer, played with two light wooden mallets. The typical Persian santour has 72 strings stretched over two sets of nine bridges for the bass and treble registers respectively. Across the world, the santour is a popular instrument for playing traditional, early music or folk songs while the Persian santour is considered a classical instrument taught widely at music conservatories and university programs and is an integral part of a Persian music ensemble. Pejman Azarmina (born in 1973, Tehran) is a composer and santour player based in New York. He started studying the santour at age 11 with Master Faramarz Payvar (1933-2009) and graduated from his private class after completing the 'Advanced Repertoire for the Santour' in 1994. Azarmina's works include Shabdiz, Old Persian Dances (Renghaye 7 Dastgah), Rebellious Solitude as well as several unpublished song cycles and quartets. In addition to recitals in Tehran and London, he has given many educational concerts at a number of academic institutions across the UK. Azarmina's style of performance is perhaps one of the closest to that of late Master Payvar, yet his interpretation of Persian music is very lean, expressive, and contemporary. Credits: Santour: Pejman Azarmina, Producer: Pejman Azarmina Recorded and Mixed at MixLab by Sam Skaf, Mastered at Sam Skaf Mastering Design: Hamid Rahmanian, Photography: Miranda Parry, MPP Image Creation Composers: Pishdarâmad by Morteza Neydavood arranged for santour by Pejman Azarmina; Bahâr-e Delneshin by Rouhollah Khaleghi; Gol-e Sang by Anoushirvan Rohani; Khâbhâ-ye Talâyi and Jilâ by Javad Maroufi arranged for the santour by Pejman Azarmina; Deltangi by Pejman Azarmina; All other songs by Faramarz Payvar (from the Advanced Repertoire for the Santour). Persian song titles: 1. Gates of Isfahan (Pishdarâmad-e Esfahân) 2. Grand Bazaar (Darâmad-e Esfahân) 3. A Ride in the Square (Châhârmezrâb-e Esfahân) 4. Poems from Shiraz (Bayât-e Shirâz) 5. Ruins of Persepolis (Souz o Godâz, Bahâr-e Delneshin) 6. Persian Rose (Oshâgh) 7. Seeds of Pomegranate (Châhârmezrâb-e Oshâgh) 8. Shepherd's Song (Goushe-ye Shour) 9. Book of the Kings (Châhârmezrâb-e Bayât-e Râjeh) 10. Fall of an Empire (Hazin) 11. Stone Flower (Gol-e Sang) 12. A Sufi's Tale (Masnavi-ye Darvish) 13. Golden Dreams (Khâbhâ-ye Talâyi) 14. Jila (Jilâ) 15. Nostalgia (Deltangi)
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