Contemporary Music / iran / Music

This Week’s Six Pillars – Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat in London

photo 2 photo 3Sister vocalists and songwriters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat sing folk and classical in Persian. Their elevating, haunting voices are “their artistic cause” and the reason for which they left Iran, in order to be able to perform. Now they appear in north London’s Art Depot, Finchley in the Pentland Theatre on February 28th.

The sisters’ songs express the continuation of a tradition that according to some, now faces problems of identity in today’s Iran. Persian music has a history of pure transmission, it also has authenticity of emotion. A haunting mystical heritage gives this music a certain depth and place in Iranian society today, the lyrics are love poems from Sufi poets such as Hafez, Rumi, Attar and contemporary poets such as Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari, Houshang Ebtehaj (Sayeh) and others are taken from oral literature of Iran.

From 2003 the sisters formed a long lasting collaboration with Norwegian record label Kirkelig Kulturverskted which led to world wide releases. They released the album “Twinklings of Hope” 2012 was in Songline Magazine’s Editor’s Choice. Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat won World Traditional with the album “Twinklings of Hope “ in tA6he 12th Annual Independent music awards in US  in June 2013. Other collaborations have seen them move away from more populist genres into experimental jazz and more.

For this concert the sisters are accompanied by London-based oud player Khyam Allami.

Six Pillars broadcasts Tuesdays 9-9.30pm (GMT) repeats Thursday 4-4.30pm. Listen online on 104.4FM across London or via the RadioPlayer.