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IMAGE AND SOUND / AP PHOTOS: In Iran, isolated musicians perform from rooftops
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 01/05/2020
Translations available: Français 

AP PHOTOS: In Iran, isolated musicians perform from rooftops

Associated Press

 

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — On the rooftop terrace of her Tehran apartment building, 28-year-old Mojgan Hosseini’s fingers pluck the strings of her qanun, an ancient stringed instrument, bringing life to an Iranian capital stilled by the coronavirus.

In this Thursday, March 26, 2020, photo, Mojgan Hosseini a 28 year-old member of the National Orchestra of Iran, plays Qanun on the roof of her home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. With performance halls now closed and many hiding in their homes over the Mideast's worst outbreak of the virus, Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. That includes rooftops littered with debris and water tanks, empty front porches and opened apartment windows where their music floats down on others stuck in their homes. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

With performance halls closed and many isolated in their homes as a result of the Mideast’s worst virus outbreak, Hosseini and other Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. That includes rooftops dotted with water tanks and littered with debris, empty front porches and opened apartment windows. Their music floats down on others stuck in their homes, fearful of the COVID-19 illness the virus brings.

Their impromptu concerts draw applause and offer hope to their listeners, even as public performances still draw hard-line scrutiny in the Islamic Republic.

“We’re not front-line medical workers, hospital custodians, or grocery workers, but I think many musicians — myself included — have felt an obligation to offer our services of comfort and entertainment in these trying times,” said Arif Mirbaghi, who plays the double bass in his front yard.

Iran has been hard-hit by the virus with more than 76,000 confirmed cases, including more than 4,700 fatalities.

In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020, photo, Behnam Emran, a 28 year-old self-taught musician, plays accordion on the roof of his home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Musicians long have been a mainstay in Iranian life, dating back to the ancient Persian empires. Legend has it that King Jamshid, the fourth king of the Pishdadian Dynasty, known as the “king of the world,” created music with a four-stringed lyra.

Over time, Western influence brought with it the symphonies of Europe. Initially after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, pop and Western-influenced music all but disappeared. Classical music slowly re-emerged in the 1990s and has become increasingly popular. But women still cannot sing before audiences including men and hard-liners have broken up concerts that pushed the cultural limits imposed by Iran’s Shiite theocracy. Outside of Tehran, officials increasingly break up performances.

But the coronavirus pandemic has loosened some mores, as doctors and nurses dance in social media videos that earlier could have served as grounds for arrest.

Among those taking to the rooftops is 36-year-old composer and tar player Midya Farajnejad. A tar is a long-necked stringed instrument.

In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020 photo, Behrad Soukhakian, a member of the National Orchestra of Iran and Tehran Symphony, 37, plays violin on the roof of his home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)


“It is not easy for me to stay at home and not be on stage or in studio during quarantine, so I ... play tar on the roof, to share my emotions with the neighbors,” Farajnejad said during a lull in one of his recent sessions.

Others, like 26-year-old accordion player Kaveh Ghafari, agree.

“During these quarantine days, the only place that I feel I can share my music is in my yard with my neighbors as my main audience,” he said. “These days I can feel the power of art more than ever.”
For Hosseini, the qanun player, the music gives her an outlet she’d otherwise have as a member of Iran’s National Orchestra. Only the occasional motorbike or bird’s chirp could be heard as she played one recent afternoon.
“Since COVID-19 hit Tehran, the rooftop terrace of my apartment has become my stage to perform and my neighbors have became my main audience these days,” she said.

In this Monday, March 30, 2020, photo, musician Shiva Abedi, 30, plays kamancheh on the roof of her home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Sunday, April 5, 2020 photo, musician Arif Mirbaghi, 33, plays double bass at the yard of his house during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Wednesday, March 25, 2020, photo, musician Farideh Sarsangi, 28, plays drums on the roof of her home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, March 28, 2020 photo, composer and musician Midya Farajnejad, 36, plays tar on the roof of his home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Thursday, April 9, 2020 photo, musician Yasamin Koozehgar, 22, plays cello on the roof of her home during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020 photo, Mohammad Maleklee, 23, of the National Orchestra of Iran and Tehran Symphony, plays saxophone on his window, during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Sunday, April 5, 2020 photo, musician Kaveh Ghaffari, 26, plays accordion at the yard of his house during mandatory self-isolation due to the new coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tehran Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)






Courtesy of AP News
Source: https://apnews.com/2d5956ccfe8e75fe1fda534324697633
Publication date of original article: 17/04/2020
URL of this page : http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=28827

 

Tags: Coronavirus crisisIranian musiciansQuarantineIran
 

 
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