Iranian-American artist and social activist Mamak Khadem is regarded as an establishment of world trance music. With roots sewn from Tehran to Los Angeles, to Athens and Mardin and beyond, she is also considered a true nomad both musically and geographically. Her new single, “Across the Oceans”, pays homage to these roots, inspired by Khadem’s work with refugee camps. There, she plays music and hosts workshops for underprivileged youth, encouraging children to find inspiration and strength in music.
Although Khadem has not been able to work with kids in person as much over the last year, she could remotely record a children’s choir that enlivens her new composition. Its music video features stunning cinematography by director Sam Javadi, shot in Bushehr, Iran, and Northern California. In just over eight minutes, Khadem is joined by a group of children who tell a story of reassurance, healing, and reverence for the world we inhabit. It also highlights the stirring realities of climate change—from global warming to environmental degradation and overarching water issues. From acoustic and electric guitars to duduk, gaida, and guzheng, a swirl of instruments invoke a palpable spirit into the track.
Chris Martin, of Coldplay fame, notably joins Khadem on “Across the Oceans”. Throughout, he plays hypnotic piano and offers an extra layer of soothing vocals to the tune. Coleman Barks also recites his rendition of a Rumi poem over the meditative track.
Director Sam Javadi says, “The story of this music video is about connection–among humans, and with nature. No matter how far apart we are, all that matters are our feelings that bring us closer together.”
“Across the Oceans” releases on 5 November. It’s available to pre-save now.