Goblet of Eternal Light
US: 2 Apr 2012
UK: 8 Jun 2012
A pair of Iranian Kurds here, Moradi playing the long-necked lute known as tanbur, Mohaved singing, trained in the local style of beauty which is sweeps and the interruptions of sweeps, the voice flying down the length of a word then lifting itself back, looseness and restraint highlighting each other in one switchback move. They partner one another through the tanbur player’s snappy adaptations of Kurdish poems and folk songs.
Other musicians come in sometimes, but the ensemble is kept small, and these compositions get powerful effects out of minimalist ideas, like having the tanbur undergo dynamic meditation for so long in “Autumn” that the listener probably wonders if it’s forgotten the singer exists. Then she enters: the unexpected. Moradi is known for the seriousness and expertise of his playing and his devotion to the 72 maqam of his primarily Kurdish religious group, the Yârsân. Goblet‘s booklet gives you a faint idea of the lyrics and their significance. The choice of poets is a reaching-out to less-represented clans, he explains, for the benefit of listeners who weren’t aware of different brands of Kurd. A good album, full of skilful feeling.