Liberated (Raha)

Tar : Payam Jahanmani / Tombak : Pezhham Akhavas
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Tar : Payam Jahanmani
Tombak : Pezhham Akhavas

 A glance at ancient musical treatises shows that Persian classical music has inherited a system with much potential for development. Existence of various forms, a rich and complex rhythmic system as well as a great number of modes (maqams and shu'bes) in the past shows that our ancestors did deeply develop their musical system and made extensive use of its potentials quite vastly. For instance, the variety of modes enabled them to create various modal atmospheres, so that in a form called kol al-negham they either put all the modes into a single piece, or composed the piece applying all the tones of their 17-tone gamut.
It seems that trying to get the mind and senses involved in several directions to create a sense of space and dimension is one of the most important ways through which all the arts make themselves more effective. Various layers of meaning in poetry, perspective in painting, variety of personages and their various destinies in novels and dramas are among the many ways through which there can be created a sense of dimension and space in the arts. In music it is possible to create such senses in both width and length of time. In comes true, in its first instance, through putting various layers of sound together, and in the second instance by melodic and rhythmic variations through applying ornaments as well as modulations. In Persian classical music, contemporary innovator masters have had successful experiences in both aspects: from the experimental polyphony for the former to development of instrumental techniques and unexpected melodic innovations for the latter.
Nevertheless, Persian musical system still enjoys potentials that have not yet been put into practice such as unexpected modulations to create dimension in temporal length, a practice that is not foreign to Persian musical system as evident through the ancient treatises in the case of the form kol al-negham.
Reconstruction of the past or returning to the past is neither wanted nor possible. It is not possible since our knowledge of the past is incomplete and it is not wanted since we do not live in the past. Yet, the ideas of our ancestors about music and their musical ideas can serve as sources of inspiration for contemporary artists. Payam Jahanmani in pieces entitled escape and commencement and also in the non-metric section of the remembrance, in the present collection, tries to synthesize the musical concepts of the past and present. These pieces on the one hand try to remain attached to the present by applying melodic figures of the radif and on the other hand try to get close to the musical conception of the past by fast modulations, most probably the modes in kol al-negham could not have remained unchanged for a long time. The result of this experience is a music that is multidimensional which moves the mind through time from one layer to the other and makes the audience involved in various emotional states in every moment.
These three pieces in the present collection, which do not follow the usual procedure in Persian music performance and each of its parts can be regarded as an independent piece, are undoubtedly just the beginning of a new experience. Payam Jahanmani himself has referred to this issue musically: the last piece called commencement ends up in suspension to imply the continuation of this path and anticipation of the result that is hoped to be reached at in the future.

Published [30/01/2005]