On 22 May this year KKV and two Western embassies arranged a remarkable concert. In a Persian garden in Tehran, the singers Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat broke the ban on public performances by women. The two sisters were accompanied by Knut Reiersrud and five other Norwegian and Iranian musicians.

KKV first got to know Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat during the recording of “Lullabies from the Axis of Evil”, on which they performed on one of the tracks. On this brand new CD we hear the two sisters performing beautiful and exotic songs on ten tracks. The musical arrangements are tastefully interwoven by Knut Reiersrud.

The concert and the CD “Songs from a Persian garden” have given these young women an opportunity to protest against the laws suppressing women in their country. The album also helps draw a slightly different picture of Iran than the one we are commonly fed by Western media.

The CD songs include Persian poems, some of which are from the 13th century. These are familiar to Iranians, but for most Western listeners they open the door to a highly interesting Iranian song and music tradition.

During the recording Knut Reiersrud played guitar, with Atabak Elyasi on setar, Amir Eslami on ney (flute), Audun Erlien on bass, David Wallumrød on keyboards and Rune Arnesen on drums.

Supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statoil og Hydro.

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