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Inside Out Iran – musicians traversing cultural divides

September 4, 2015 @ 8:00 pm - 11:55 pm

| £10

Arts Canteen and Roya Arab present Inside Out Iran.

In conjunction with the Inside Out Iran Art exhibition we present an evening of music from established and emerging Iranian artists. The evening commences with Adib Rostami and Pouya Mahmoodi performing their highly evocative music on kamanche and guitar, followed by Dr Pouya Ehasaie’s electronica inspired audio/visual journey. We introduce the music of Mohammad Moussavi with his new piece ‘Inside out Iran’. Roya Arab shares compositions on piano with Nick Haward on double bass. We then have the premier appearance of Lafawndah in the UK before Little Miss Specta takes the decks and the audience on a sonic trip.


Little Miss Specta (composer, producer and DJ) has been making musical waves since being lauded in the 1990s as ‘the best of what Britain has to offer in the cutting edge of music’ by Giles Peterson. Innovative and uncompromising Little Miss Specta is a sonic sculptress who continues to push the boundaries of music for the maker and the listener.

Roya Arab has been creating music and poetry since childhood. She signed to Island Records as a member of Archive in the mid-90s; the band broke up after releasing Londinium and Roya went on to record with artists including Grooverider, Zend Avesta, Mike Figgis and Leila. At the turn of the millennium she returned to school to study archaeology – a decade into her studies after gaining a BA and Masters, Roya started missing creating and performing music. Since 2011 Roya has collaborated with hip hop friends, scored a short film ‘Hinterland’, performed with Dick Taylor, Henry Padovani and Kathy Mendonca in Paris and composed a piece for a Chinese collective audio/visual venture. Roya will be performing with Nick Haward, double bass maestro, with whom she has been collaborating over the past years.

Globetrotting singer/producer Yasmine Dubois has only been making music as Lafawndah for a short time, but already she’s causing ripples worldwide with her futuristic take on globaltronica. After packing in her jobs as a gallery curator in Mexico City and New York, the half-Iranian, half-Egyptian musician moved back to Paris to concentrate on honing her “ritual club music,” influenced by Nina Simone, Brandy, traditional Middle Eastern singers, dancehall queens and the Night Slugslabel’s modernist take on grime and bass. For her debut self-titled EP Lafawndah flew to Guadeloupe to work with Portuguese producer Garagem Banda, Emily King, and zouk veteran Jean Claude Bichara.

Adib Rostami and Pouya Mahmoodi create an improvised musical odyssey on the kamanche (ancestor of the violin) and twelve string guitar. Adib Rostami has pursued music since childhood in Kermanshah, starting with Tombak and later kamanche with Iran’s leading ostads. He regularly appears with Ostad Kalhor and since 2010 has been performing his own music at venues across London and UK and recorded live for BBC Persian and the BBC Proms. Pouya Mahmoodi has been forging a new path for Iranian music, weaving together the seemingly disparate threads of Persian classical tradition and rock, jazz, and blues. He was the lead singer and guitarist of the pioneering Iranian band BARAD who released an album on Hermes Records and his debut solo album Mehr was released with Faryaad in 2008.

Pouya Ehsaei is an Iranian artist residing in London. He has been involved in different projects and collaborations with performers, dancers, and musicians. He experiments with sound, words, video and computer graphics in order to create pieces that keep the meaning and sensations open for the audience. He has a PhD in Music and an MA in Music Technology from University of York. His debut album ‘There’ was published by Entr’acte in April 2014, which is an experiment using traditional Iranian music samples and excerpts to create lush soundscapes, harsh expressions and eastern melodic noises. Pouya is also the founder of Iranian electro-pop duo “Zang” and is half of performance company “Gorizazmarkaz”.

Mohammad Moussavi was born 1995 to a Muslim Iranian family. He inherited his family’s love of a religious custom called “Quran recitation”, and became a Quran reciter. In 2008 it was a computer guitar game and the sound of Slash’s guitar that drew him to learn to play and expand his musical influences which today include Persian Folk Music, Jazz, Ambient and Classical.  In 2011 Mohammad joined the band ‘Moonhead’ which he left two years later to work on solo material. In 2014 his music was chosen as the soundtrack for a solo exhibition of visual artist Sorell in Wales, UK. Mohammad’s music was endorsed by renowned musician Nils Frahm and in 2015 he featured on the debut album of the French group Kidwise published by Warner/Chappell label in France.





September 4, 2015
8:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Event Category:


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