In this post you will hear Avaz-e Dashti, the haunting sound of the desert. Dasht means desert in Farsi. It is a soulful longing that is heard in Dashti. It is the howling winds, and the endless quiet of the desert. All these sounds can be heard in Dashti.
Until now, we have been analysing the different sub-dastgah of Shur in a very detailed theoretical way. But this time, I want to explore an emotional, aesthetic, artistic, or intuitive way of approaching music. So I am not going to do much analysing other than telling you what scale and what notes are being played. I am doing this because Afshari, Dashti, and Avaz-e Kord (I haven’t dealt with Kord yet) are very similar. They pause and play with the same notes. And when performed by masters of Persian music they often move through these sub-dastgah sequentially depending on use of poetry, mood, and whim.
Have you got disappointed when you buy a belly dance costume only to realize the bra cups are squashed or look wonky?
I have had a set of pink costume, and I have worn it and performed in it a couple of times now. But each time, I kept on noticing the cup on the right doesn’t look round…it is squashed a little, and has a straight edge at the top of the cup. I tried to fix it by sewing a piece of wire or loosening up the inside fabric, but it did not fix the straight edge. The cup is made out of a pretty hard material, and wouldn’t change its shape, so I gave up.
Then recently I found a thread on Bhuz, a belly dance forum, about this very topic. And a member named anala had this simple method of fixing squashed costume bra cups with fruit. So I wanted to experiment this method, and put together a video on how to do this so I can share with you all! more →
Avaz-e Afshari is another sub-dastgah of Shur. It is very short and only has three gushe in the Radif of Mirza Abdollah, but it is very expressive and particular. In the recording you will hear we are using the root of Shur in D, or jins Bayati from D.
“qb” = quarter flat
D Eqb F G
Afshari does something radically different. The range of notes that Afshari uses in any one gushe would look something like this. more →
I love gift giving. I feel it is a special time when I can think ONLY about the person that I am giving a gift to. This makes me feel good to think that I am being a good friend, girlfriend, daughter or whatever my relationship is with the person because I am showing my care and affection with this special gift. I often feel gift giving is as much fun to the gift giver as to the receiver. Seeing the joy on the gift receiver’s face gives the same joy on the gift giver’s face. more →
In Persian music, Bayat e Tork is the next sub-dastgah after Abu Ata. Bayat e Tork is very different in feeling from the mother Dastgah Shur which it belongs to. Bayat e Tork can be treated as an independent Dastgah as you will see it differs a lot in melody and quality from Shur, and Abu Ata. In my own personal experience, listening to Bayat e Tork always transported me to another time. I often takes my imagination back to a medieval Iran. I often feel relaxed and lighthearted hearing this mode. It is full of happy, buoyant energy.
My eyes are so-called “Asian eyes” – small, flat and rather narrow, so I need to define my eye shape with make-up, in order for it to be visible from distance. Even on a regular day, when I go to work or run errands, I must at least wear eyeliner, or I feel like I am going outside in pajamas. So you can imagine how important eyeliner is to me when I perform on a stage.
Unfortunately, my eyelids don’t seem to like every type of eyeliner. My eyelids tend to be oily, and they are deep double eyelids, which means I have an eyelid that folds and creates a line, and the crease folds very deep like the photo shows. more →
In Persian music, we have Dastgah, but we also have what I like to call sub-dastgah. As we have dealt with Dastgah Shur already in this article. It is logical to keep in that vein now and discuss the offshoots of Shur, or the sub-dastgah of Dastgah Shur. We will now deal with Avaz-e Abu Ata. Avaz in Farsi means, “singing”, or “melody”.
Abu Ata is very iconic, and very well developed. By developed I mean it has some variation in the melodies created and you
I want to improve my finger cymbals or zill playing. This has been on my mind especially since I started performing with Navid. To improve my technique, I must practice playing finger cymbals, of course. But the problem with practicing finger cymbals is that they are LOUD. Yes, they are small, but they are cymbals. They are so loud that I’m sure my neighbours and landlord can get annoyed by my poor playing, and my ears start to ring. Yet when I try to practice quietly, the finger cymbals just wobble on my fingers, and I can’t “feel” it. more →
If we want to adequately learn Persian music and the traditional Radif, learning Dastgah Shur is of fundamental importance. Shur is at the beginning of the Radif. Radif, as we have discussed means order, or line. Shur is one of the most common Dastgah you will hear in Iran. It is sometimes the first scale you learn in music. Shur is a highly developed Dastgah, it has numerous gushe that you have to learn. The gushes establish many melodic developments, different hand positions, embellishments, and melodic phrase forms that are repeated throughout the Radif.
Shur is the Dastgah that encompasses other minor Dastgah. So if we have this umbrella term Shur, within Shur you have:
Shimmy Mob 2011 in Vancouver. Photo from the Shimmy Mob website.
On December 4, 2013. I was working away on my computer at home, and I received a call from a number I did not recognize.
“Hi, it’s Sabeya. How are you doing?”
Right. Sabeya did ask for my phone number by email. She had had problems with the video files I sent to her. She had told me that my videos would stop about a minute in, and I had re-sent my videos to her. Maybe the videos didn’t work again. Why do technical problems happen at the worst times? How can I fix technical problems remotely? more →