Together with her sister, Marjan Vahdat has made Persian song tradition familiar the world over. Now Marjan is releasing a solo album where East meets West. On “Blue Fields”, however, the Eastern elements guide the music and take control.
The sisters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat are a phenomenon within Persian vocal art. Together they have performed on “Lullabies from the Axis of Evil” and produced such sensational releases as “Songs from a Persian Garden”, “I am Eve” and “Twinklings of Hope”; this last release was nominated for the Independent Music Awards in 2012.
Mahsa has also taken part in two duet projects with American soul artist Mighty Sam McClain and in a choir project with the Norwegian choir SKRUK and Tord Gustavsen.
In no way is Marjan left in the shadow of her older sister. On her first solo album, “Blue Fields”, she presents a sound where we discern the presence of Western musical influence, but where the Persian element still dominates. In addition to Marjan’s expressive voice, the flute artist Pasha Hanjani (ney) and the renowned virtuoso on the Persian string instrument kamancheh, Shervin Mohajer, are the most important reasons for this. They both live in Iran where they practise their musical art. The Western element is contributed by the Norwegian musicians Gjermund Silset (double bass) and Kenneth Ekornes (drums and percussion).
Marjan Vahdat has an outstanding boldness in her vocal expression. She dares to take chances and succeeds in delivering a completely personal and characteristic style that is Persian in its roots, but which also has adopted elements that might give associations to flamenco, Kurd vocal art and Gypsy songs.
Her repertoire includes songs she has written to the Persian poems of Rumi, Tahereh Ghorattolein and contemporary writers like Mohammad Ibrahim Jafari, but she also sings Kurd and Azerbaijani traditional songs.
Marjan is prohibited from performing for men in her native country of Iran, but this recording makes it possible for her to present her art to an international audience. She often performs in Asia, and in Europe and the Americas.
This CD was recorded in the Olai Petrus chapel at the Sigtuna Foundation in Sigtuna, Sweden. This venerable centre of dialogue and culture has served as a source of inspiration for KKV, the album producer, and this recording has been made in cooperation with the Swedish foundation. This production has also been funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
KKV, Oslo 2013