Mahsa Vahdat

Mahsa Vahdat

 Tehrān, Tehrān, IRN
BandWorldFolk

The most striking contemporary female voice from Iran.

Biography

Born in Tehran in 1973, Mahsa Vahdat started her career in music by taking piano lessons and Persian Singing from an early age with different Master Musicians in Iran. Mahsa Vahdat also plays setar. She entered that Art University in Tehran in 1993 and graduated from the Music Faculty with a B.A. in Music in the Art University she has been under the influence of many master musicians.

Since 2007 Mahsa is one of the ambassadors of Freemuse Organization, an independent international organization that advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. (www.freemuse.org)
In 2010, she was granted the Freemuse Award.

Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat reflect the current evolution of Persian song. They are of a new generation of musicians, university-educated and completely devoted to their artistic cause. They express the continuation of a tradition that faces problems of identity in today's Iran.
Persian music has the capacity to renew itself constantly, a phenomenon unique to the East. As well as having a history of pure transmission, it also has authenticity of emotion. As a result of its mystical heritage, it is able to retain a feeling of nobility and depth of being, which could be called an oriental, chivalrous and melancholic romanticism.
This heritage is wonderfully portrayed by Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat. The two sisters with both similar and different characteristic timber in their voices proudly, graciously and with devoted passion take Persian poetry to new heights and new spaces. The way their voices soar and intertwine create a unique landscape for the audience. They reflect joy, sorrow, hopes, longing and love of Iranian people in their songs. Without being visible in their own society, they have continuous contact with a large audience who appreciates their art around the world.

Their Persian Ensemble has been developed through many years of working together. They took part in many world music festivals and many concerts in the world. The sound that they created is a unique way of new expression of Persian classical and regional music.
Performing this kind of Persian music where improvisation is such a powerful part of the performance is the result of cooperation of each of the five artists in the ensemble, with their emotions, ideas, experiences and musical expression.

The lyrics are mostly mystic love poems from Great Mystic poets like Hafez ,Rumi and Hallaj, Attar and some contemporary poets like Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari, Houshang Ebtehaj (Sayeh ) and also some lyrics from oral literature of Iran .

Since 2003 the Persian Ensemble has had a long lasting collaboration with the Norwegian record label Kirkelig Kulturverskted (www.kkv.no ), which led to a world wide release of a series of records. Their last released album “Twinklings of hope“ (2012) received wonderful reviews and attention in the world. The album is among Songline Magazine’s editor’s choice selection of the 10 best new release (top of the world) of August –September 2012.
In addition, the album has been nominated to the Independent Music Awards 2012.

Lyrics

Elegy for a Garden

Written By: Poem by Hooshang Ebtehaj Music by Mahsa Vahdat

O yellow flower, yellow flower, yellow flower Come to mourn with us because of pain
because the rein is under the grip of inhuman ones inhuman ones oppress human ones

O flower, you who lost your petals! where can i find your imprint? the sound of crying is heard from your garden
the sound of crying is heard days and nights
the heart of the nightingale burns for your heartache

Twinklings of Hope

Written By: Poem by Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari / Music by Marjan Vahdat based on a Kurdish Song

I have a dream
In your sky, i have seen a white cloud
O beautiful cloud,
O unbroken horse!
A lonely horse rider rides while touching your mane
A restless lonely horse rider
A kaveh who came for making a change
A lover who is looking forward to meeting the beloved one

O plain! have you seen the lonely horse rider from the dream?
In the sky And on the earth; is anybody like him?
The messenger who never talks, but has a lot of tales to tell?
The Untamed, white cloud of our dream?

I have a dream
I have a dream
I have a dream

Golden Straws of Wheat

Written By: Folk song from the Fars Province

O! golden straws of wheat
Dressed in your god given golden garment
Tell my beloved, who is the precious stone of my ring
How hard separation is

Fragile one, i will come to your home
My soul is tied to your soul

O! My heart of soul, my leaf of flower, my fresh sweetness, my water of life

O! My peerless one
My dearest one
My heart longs for you
My heart desires to come to your dwelling place
O! you, the light of my home

O! My heart of soul, my leaf of flower, my fresh sweetness, my water of life

A Promise to My Beloved

Written By: Poem by Hafez / Music by Mahsa Vahdat

I gave the beloved a promise, that as long as i have soul in my body i will value his devoted ones as my own soul

When my heart’s desire is fulfilled, and loneliness again is here
I don’t fear the evil from those who slander me in the gathering

It is true that i boast like salomon about the seal that was put by the ruby red lips of my beloved
Because i am blessed with the greatest of all names, i don’t fear the evil

O, you wise and old one, don’t blame me for going to the tavern
i have a promise breaking heart when it comes to abstention from the bowl

The Moon of Our Beloved's Face

Written By: Poem by Hafez / Music is a Traditional Song

Roses in my bosom, a cup of wine in hand, and the beloved of my desire; On such a day the sultan of the world is my slave.

Tell them no candle is needed at our gathering;
Tonight the moon of our beloved’s face is full.

In our religion wine is lawful, but
Without you, our blooming cypress tree, it is forbidden.

How can you talk about shame? i’ve made a name from shame.
How can you ask of my name? i’m ashamed of having a name.

Discography


Lullabies from the Axis of Evil (2003)
Songs from a Persian garden (2007)
I am Eve (2008)
Scent of Reunion – Love duets across civilizations (2009)
In the mirror of wine (2010)
Twinklings of Hope (2011)
Love duets across civilizations - A Deeper tone of Longing (2012)

Set List

The set usually last 1 - 1 1/2 hours.