U.S. Premiere Concert Event: Mohsen Namjoo & Faraualla

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2018
For media inquiries contact:
Roxie Sarhangi | Roxie PR / press@farhang.org / 310-666-1546

U.S. Premiere Concert Event: Mohsen Namjoo & Faraualla

On the String of the Tear’s Bow

In Collaboration with Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari

2018 0609 Namjoo1Mohsen Namjoo & Faraualla in collaboration with Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari

U.S. Premiere Performance: June 9, 7:00 PM
Location: The Music Center's Mark Taper Forum
Tickets: MusicCenter.org/Namjoo

Talk Event: Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari and Mohsen Namjoo in person
Date: June 4, 7PM
Location: The Getty Center
Tickets: TheGetty

LOS ANGELES - The Farhang Foundation is proud to present world-renowned Iranian singer-songwriter and composer Mohsen Namjoo and the Italian vocal quartet Faraualla to perform in Los Angeles at the prestigious Music Center’s Mark Taper Forum in a rare U.S. premiere performance for their new release On the String of the Tear’s Bow on June 9, 2018. This multimedia project was conceived in collaboration with acclaimed artists Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, and will feature video installations by both artists.

The singular event is preceded by an artist talk on June 4 at the Getty Center. Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari and Mohsen Namjoo will discuss this multimedia experience, which had its world premiere in Rome in 2017.

Hailed as "the Bob Dylan of Iran," Namjoo is known as the first artist to fuse classical Persian music with Western style, blending the traditional Iranian lute (setar) and electric guitar, Persian poetry with contemporary chatter. Now living in exile in New York, he has said his music of contrasts is meant to reflect the contradictions of everyday life.

The new album, On the String of the Tear’s Bow, is an international exploration of rituals and mourning ceremonies, taking audiences from Mongolia through Iran and Europe. The ethereal acapella vocals of Faraualla lend an ethereal chorus to Namjoo’s compositions.

The June 9 show will be performed in two acts. The first act features the songs of On the String of the Tear’s Bow, against a backdrop of video art installations by acclaimed artists and filmmakers Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari. This hour-long musical and visual odyssey takes the audience along the Silk Road, investigating the confluences of cultures from the Far East to the Middle East to the Balkans, and all the way to the south of Italy, where Faraualla are from. It is Namjoo’s contemporary take on traditions that observe the cycles of life and death while remaining faithful to the origins of each song.

2018 0609 Namjoo2Mohsen Namjoo & Faraualla in Rome

The monumental video installations juxtapose the iconic, goddess-like imagery of female mourners from Bari, Italy, with Neshat’s photographs of women from the Muslim world — revealing uncanny resemblances. The second set is devoted to Namjoo classics.

2018 0609 Namjoo3Female Mourners from Bari by Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari

Shirin Neshat is one of the most significant contemporary artists to emerge from Iran. Neshat's works are included in the collections of many international museums including the Tate Gallery in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim and the Broad Museum among others.

Shoja Azari is an Iranian born filmmaker and artist, and a long time collaborator of Shirin Neshat. They co-directed their 2009 film "Women Without Men" which won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival and most recently “Looking for Oum Kulthum” (2017).

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

mohsen namjoo face 

MOHSEN NAMJOO

Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian composer, singer and songwriter. His unique music style resembles a patchwork of Iranian blues, rock and folk. His song lyrics are a special combination between classical persian poems, his authentic compositions and contemporary poetry, using words freely, with irony and sarcasm to accompany the music and create an open vocal style. Namjoo was born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, a small town in northeastern Iran. Between the end of 1997 and beginning of 1998, Namjoo holds his first two concerts on the theme “Modern Combination of Poetry and Music of Iran.” His debut album “Toranj” was officially published in Iran in 2007. Namjoo has also composed soundtracks for film and theater. Since his arrival to the U.S. in 2011, Namjoo has been touring the world to sold out concerts at prestigious halls such as Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; Conservatorio Sala Verdi, Milan, Italy; Disney Hall and Royce Hall, Los Angeles and many more. His latest album ON THE STRING OF THE TEAR’S BOW was released earlier this spring. Namjoo's Soundcloud Channel.

faraualla faces

FARAUALLA

The quartet Faraualla was established in 1995. After making a careful study of vocality in different precincts of music, the four singers have found a common interest investigating the use of the voice as an instrument, practicing polyphony and going into vocal expressions of different ethnicities and different times. The outcomes of this work are collected in the repertory of Faraualla in original compositions that often develop from an improvised matrix, as in traditional songs. The suggestions of a lithe through cultures so far between themselves melt together into an original synthesis in which cultural roots of the group strongly emerge. The presence of Apulia may be found in the "Sound" of the Quartet, in the Faraualla percussion instruments that accompany the performance, and in the very same name of the group. Faraualla has been guests in important national and international festivals and shows. The artistic activity of the group includes interventions in radio and television broadcasting and theatrical performances. In 1999 the band published their first album"Faraualla" featuring Maria Pia Devito. In 2013 Faraualla released their sixth album "Ogni Male Fore."

shirin neshat face

SHIRIN NESHAT

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York. Neshat's early photographic works include the Women of Allah series (1993-1997), which explored the question of gender in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and militancy. Her subsequent video works departed from overtly political content or critique in favor of more poetic imagery and complex human narratives. Neshat continues to explore and experiment with the mediums of photography, video and film. Her most recent bodies of work include the photographic series The Book of Kings (2012), The Home of My Eyes (2015) and the trilogy Dreamers comprised of three video installations: Illusions and Mirrors (2013), Roja (2016), and Sarah (2016). Neshat has held numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide, including the Museo Correr in Venice, Italy, to coincide with the 2017 Venice Biennale; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Doha; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, Michigan; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Serpentine Gallery, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, among others. In 2009, Neshat directed her first feature-length film, "Women Without Men," which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. She has recently completed her second feature-length film, based on the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Neshat is represented by Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

shoja azari face

SHOJA AZARI

Shoja Azari is an Iranian born filmmaker and visual artist who lives and works in New York. Azari’s feature films, “K,” “Windows,” "Women Without Men,” and “Simple Little Lives” have been screened widely at film festivals around the world. “Women Without Men” Co-Directed with the renowned, filmmaker, visual artist Shirin Neshat, brought the directors the highly prestigious award of the Silver lion (Bets Direction) at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. Azari’s art works are in major collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC) among others. Shoja Azari and Shirin Neshat’s recent feature film collaboration “Looking For Oum Kulthum” is now completed. “Badria,” Azari's newest feature film shot in Morocco in collaboration with the young filmmaker Rodin Hamidi is now in post-production and is slated for release in 2018.

 

ABOUT FARHANG FOUNDATION

Farhang logo 

Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications, and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints, or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions, or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation.