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    Tabassian, Kiya / Martel, Pierre-Yves / Tabassian, Ziya – “Masafat : Montreal-Chelsea, 227km” – [Actuelle Records]


    2009 release from Quebec. The brothers Tabassian having journeyed
    from Iran to meet up with Pierre-Yves Martel who plays the
    Viola da Gamba. Both Kiya and Ziya were trained in Tehran on
    classical Persian instruents, respectively the setar and percussion.
    The setar is a lute, which Kiya can fly like a psych rock god
    on, but for this he is set in acoustic-improv mode. He also
    plays a shuranguiz at times, with bassier strings and evidently
    violin as well. His brother, uses ancient instruments to get
    exploratory improv sounds of plink, plunk and possibly some bowed
    percussion. “Montreal” opens with notes pinched on the shuranguiz,
    akin to an alap section of raga. Kiya solo and setting a mood
    of contemplation. More muted and rattle and scrape sounds follow
    on subsequent tracks. Iranian flavor as distant as the Farsi
    title (“Masafat” means distance) yet still present (rising on
    the “Hudson”).?? Kiya’s violin on “Casselman” sparks well off
    Martel, and Ziya has great rolls of dry percussion on that lively
    track. From that track on this CD seems evoke more passion,
    “Ottawa” perhaps the most outwardly musical, with its sense
    of a waiting room, and anticipation turning the door handle.
    Great flurries from Kiya on that. Many pieces are short, but
    inviting as can be. The fever setar on “Gatineau” and then
    windy, ocarina-like whistles of “Chelsea” and then it is done.
    Definitely want to hear more from all three, especially Kiya,
    and actuelle in general. So much beauty in Iranian art, we
    need to remove the political cobwebs on both sides to get
    to the heart of what matters. Communication and creation!
    This album is brimming with them both

    -Thurston Hunger

    Here’s a pretty cool clip of Kiya and his setar and his passion-provoker, dig it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU6VO2Kx4kA

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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