Kurdish Music From Iran

Ali Akbar Moradi is a master tanbur player, from Kurdish western Iran, where it's considered a sacred instrument. The two-string lute might sound like an easy instrument to play, but it's not. In the hands of someone who can make it sing, the complexity is apparent. Moradi tackles both secular and sacred music here, as well as some of the classic texts by the famous Rumi, although singing isn't among Moradi's great strengths. But the tanbur is, and on that he can create delicate filigrees of sound, or meditate. He's also quite capable of upping the intensity level and creating acoustic trance music with three percussionists, including his son, pounding out the rhythms. It makes for an intense experience -- whether loud or soft -- that captures the essence of western Iran. Moradi is a remarkable talent, one of the few from his tradition to receive any Western exposure at all. But if there are more like him, it can only be hoped that they are heard more widely soon.