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Since I’ve become quite a big fan of both Hossein Alizadeh and Djivan Gasparyan, I inevitably discovered that they had actually collaborated on an album called ‘Endless Vision’. For those who have never heard of the names I mentioned in the last line, here’s a bit of information. Note that I am no expert here and that my information on the two is pretty limited as well. I would be more than glad if an Iranian or Armenian could tell me more about these amazing artists and the album as well.

Hossein Alizadeh is an Iranian classical music composer and musician and he has composed music for several films, including “Turtles Can Fly”, and Majidi’s “Song of Sparrows”. This is how I came to discover his music.

Djivan Gasparyan on the other hand is a world famous Armenian Duduk player. The Duduk is a 3,000 year old Armenian instrument. Gasparyan may be well remembered for being featured on Hans Zimmer’s score for “Gladiator”.

Now strangely, these two wonderful musicians collaborated for a lovely album. While Gasparyan played music on the Duduk, Alizadeh played the sitar and Shurangiz (an instrument he created). The result is a wonderful amalgamation of various musical cultures from Persian to Armenian to Azeri.

Note that this album was actually recorded during a live performance in Tehran in 2003. I envy those who attended it.

Here is the tracklist of the album:

1. Birds – 22:13
2. Armenian Romances – 3:07
3. Sari Galin – 7:40
4. Call of the Birds – 8:00
5. Mama – 5:56
6. Shurangiz Improvisation – 6:02
7. Tasnif Parvaneh Sho – 6:36

My personal favourites are Sari Galin and Call of the Birds. Sari Galin, unlike some of the other tracks, is actually a song and it features the voices of Jivan Gasparyan, Afsaneh Rasaee, Hoorshid Biabani, and Ali Samadpour (I’m not sure if the latter two sang this song as well). Again I might sound a bit ignorant on this matter but Sari Galin is a traditional song that has disputed origins. It is a song famous in the region that includes Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey etc. The song also has its variations in all these countries. From what I gather from different sources, the song is about a ‘blonde’ maiden (possibly Armenian and therefore Christian), with whom a Muslim Azeri boy (or even Turkish in some variations), falls in love with. They are not allowed to marry as they are of different religions. However, they elope and the girl’s father sends men to kill the boy his daughter has eloped with. Sad story if you ask me. For this performance, the song is sung in Azeri, Parsi and Armenian (I know that Gasparyan sings in Armenian and Afsaneh Rasaee sings in Farsi, but I have no idea who sings it in Azeri). You can also hear Alizadeh playing the Shurangiz and Gasparyan playing the Duduk for this song.

I would be very glad if someone from that wonderful region of that world could actually enlighten me on Sari Galin. I’d be most grateful :D.

Call of the Birds is an instrumental piece which features all the musicians in this album. You can also hear Gasparyan’s Duduk take it to a completely different level somewhere in the middle.

There’s nothing much I can say about the album, not because it isn’t good enough, but because I have very little knowledge about the musical traditions represented in it. I don’t want to sound like I know things I don’t really know. Anyway, I will really say that for anyone who is interested in some amazing world music, Endless Vision is an album that should not be overlooked. Too bad it isn’t overly famous or anything, but the musicians are top class and the music is plain lovely.

I didn’t write this post to pretend I was an expert on this subject. I wrote this post to introduce people to some lovely music they may never have come across. In case you’re interested to listen to the whole album, some kind soul has posted a youtube link (which I’ve posted below). If you can find the album for purchase in your country, it’s always better to buy it.