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THIRTEEN/EIGHT MOHSEN NAMJOO & ENSEMBLE LIVE
Los Angeles, CA March 27, 2012 – Payam Entertainment presents Thirteen/Eight: Mohsen Namjoo and Ensemble Live in Berkeley, Saturday April 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley and in Los Angeles, Sunday May 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the Orpheum Theatre 842 S. Broadway
Thirteen/eight is a compilation of six pieces by Mohsen Namjoo, which were developed in the United States during the past year. The performance has been prepared in collaboration with California-based musicians James Riotto (Contrabass), Robert Shelton (Keyboard), Ezra Lipp (Drums) and Greg Ellis (Percussion). Payam Entertainment produced a series of live performances for 2012. The inaugural performance in Berkeley, California will be recorded in preparation for a future double-album release by the same title.
“Among Iranian musicians, irregular rhythms are referred to as ‘limping rhythms’. Mainly characterized by structural imbalance, the 13/8 time signature is among the most difficult of the limping rhythms in the music of the region”, says Mohsen Namjoo. “In the limping form, there is always a beat missing, or a beat extra. The limping style does not possess the symmetric structure of the dance music which elicits so much pleasure in dancers at wedding parties or in certain kinds of nightclubs”. He adds “for me, this lack of balance or limping always symbolizes the constant instability of modern day life; a lack of confidence in there, being solid ground beneath our feet when we step out in our daily lives. The limping structure symbolizes falling out of step with the rhythm of everyday living, and the ever present fear of being thrown out of the party of life—just for dancing with a limp!”.
Thirteen/Eight is based on a research project including three pieces in which Mohsen Namjoo has fused the Iranian musical scales of “Shour”, “Chargah” and “Rast-Panj-gah” with Jazz. Two other tracks titled “Khat Bekesh” and “13/8” have been inspired by music from Frank Sinatra and Igor Stravinsky respectively. These are based on the “Segah” scale and the “Isfahan” vocal renditions. Both of these musical renditions are based on poetry by Mohsen Namjoo with themes pertaining to the futility of people’s (Iranians’) hope in the concept of the ‘saviour’ who shall one day appear and restore a free homeland for them. Through his innovative use of literature and sonic effects, Namjoo challenges those ethereal hopes which are in his view as tragic as comic. The second component of Thirteen/Eight is comprised of a solo performance with Setar and vocal renditions inspired by Iranian Ethnic songs.
Thirteen/Eight is a unique performance that contrasts the Western musical traditions with those of the East, particularly Iran. In his performance of Thirteen/Eight, Namjoo dwells deep within each of these traditions in search of enlightenment on the validity of the promise of Hope.
Payam Entertainment is proud to present Thirteen/Eight in Berkeley and Los Angeles. A musical tour-de-force by a singular voice from Iran. Tickets for Thirteen/Eight BERKELEY are available at tickets.Berkeley.edu and in LOS ANGELES at www.ticketmaster.com