Saba Alizadeh – Nafir (Clamour)

Single cover "Nafir"

SMR005/1 – 03 March 2023
Saba Alizadeh – Nafir (Clamour)

With “Nafir (Clamour)”, Tehran-based kamancheh virtuoso and electronic musician Saba Alizadeh releases a strong artistic statement: a heavy emotional new piece and touching video which depict metaphorically life in Iran after 5 months of uprising.

“In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times”

(Bertold Brecht)

“Nafir” is the sound of a million outcries channeled through the ancient string instrument Kamancheh” says composer and musician Saba Alizadeh about his latest single. “It’s the voice of the shed tears and blood”.

His instrument, the Kamanche is said to be resembling the spectrum of the human voice, why he used it prominently in this piece as a metaphor for singing, for the gathered voices and cries of the oppressed, fighting against the darkness, the oppressor, here represented by the rhythm section.

Alizadeh explains: “This section is based on the rhythms of T’azie (traditional religious mourning ceremonies during shia commemoration Ashura) but at the same time resembles the sound of explosions (the sound that became the soundtrack of our lives in Iran for the past 5 months) and a respirator machine. It is at the same time a spray paint can that is writing slogans on walls or wiping them out.

At some point in the piece the rhythm section crescendos and tries to distort and destroy the kamancheh melody but it is not able to.”

In the video which is masterfully implemented by visual artist Siavash Naghshbandi, the voice of the Kamancheh and the beam of light interact with each other: the louder the voice of the kamancheh gets the brighter the beam becomes. It battles with the rhythm section and a metaphoric swarm of Kalashnikov bullets (as a universal sign of oppression). The finale gives hope: the cry of the Kamanche and the warm bright light succeed in the end in defeating the bullets, the darkness and oppression.

Saba Alizadeh

Saba Alizadeh

Saba Alizadeh is an Iranian composer, musician and reputated virtuoso of the Kamancheh (Iranian spike fiddle). Influenced by Iranian harmonics, musique concrète and sophisticated, forward-looking beat science, Saba Alizadeh’s “I

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