What's this Challenge about?
There is an Iranian music family who are trying to protect the traditional music which is in a crisis of inheritance. They’re trying to record those songs and melodies even though they are in themselves in economically challenging situation.
My challenge here, is to assist with supporting them financially, and preserving the music for posterity!
My music teacher, Yahya Ranaei collected over 90 songs and melodies which are related to music from about 200 - 1,300 years ago. Currently he is trying to record these pieces with his family.
His music collection is from his hometown, Sahneh city in the Kermanshah province of western Iran.
Until now, there has never been so many songs of this area collected at once, and left as a recording for future reference and enjoyment.
If this project is completed, it will be extremely valuable for music and cultural anthropology.
However, this family has a financial issues right now, and they can not continue their recording work at the current time.
For me, they are not only my music teachers, but also like close family.
Additionally, when the Tōhoku earthquake happend in 2011, they offered an original song to encourage Japanese people.
Subsequently, I was deeply impressed by that they think about us, despite being in a faraway country.
My challenge here, is for supporting them financially, and preserving their precious and valuable music for posterity!
Music of world heritage
This music is developed in Kermanshah province of western Iran.
Most of the songs has played in rites of religion which is called “Yarsan”. #1
In that gathering, singers chant their scriptures and poems which represent deep spirituality.
Tanbour has deep history, and its shape is drawn on the murals in Iran about 6, 000 years ago.
It can be said that it’s a musical instrument that could be the prototype of all string instruments all over the world.
In ancient times, it was played in a wider area than now.
And similar instruments are seen in the surrounding area and neighboring countries.
The text which is sung with Tanbour has also deep spiritual meaning.
When the famous singer Madonna used the lyrics of the Persian poet “Rumi” of the Middle Ages, Rumi’s poem became known in the world. And his poems still fascinate many people all over the world.
Rumi had also used the name “Tanbour” in his poems several times.
Both of Rumi's poems and the lyrics which are sung with Tanbour since ancient times, have spiritual meaning.
Nowadays, the poems of Rumi is often sung with Tanbour. Because its deep meaning would suit the warm and subtle sound of the Tanbour as well.
Composed based on traditional music and lyrics of Rumi by Yahya Ranaei.
Need urgent support
While the globalization and equalization of the world is progressing, protecting the variety of ethnic traditions, customs, and arts is a very important thing.
Because without understanding and interest of each other brings anxiety and fear.
It brings selfish idea that you may deprive others' rights and finally, the fight will happen.
Knowing the variety of cultures and customs brings mutual understanding and tolerance beyond the border between country or region.
Nowadays, Tanbour is used into several fusion music or played by technique of guitar or such as fast playing may be the existence of Tanbour will be known to the world. However, if we don’t protect the essence of Tanbour music (called Tanbour magham #2), the personality of Tanbour will be lost. Yahya is one of those particular masters who knows and plays Tanbour magham completely.
It’s rare to find a person like him who is truly inherited the Tanbour music.
#2: Magham (=makam)
This song was recorded with a Japanese bamboo flute player Yasukazu Kano in Tokyo, 2011.
It’s a stunning collaboration with Japanese instrument.
Their passion for the music
Yahya’s musical life was tough and steep.
Due to revolution and turbulence of war, he had to stop music activity several times. And sometimes he had to sell his own instrument to get money for supporting his family. And also, he was shaving trees with broken window glass to make instruments. Even in tough situations, Yahya taught his music to his spouse and children, and he has kept his art with his family.
Yahya’s two talented sons are also working for this project.
The second son, Puyan has strong and emotional voice, and singing with Yahya’s Tanbour. He has inherited the voice of grand father who were important Tanbour magham singer at their area.
And the first son, Shooresh is working as a superviser for this recording. He knows about Persian traditional music and Iranian folk music well, and also, he is a great composer and a great player. Since childhood, he has recieved many awards from music festivals.
Composed by Yahya Ranaei in 2001. Ranaei family offered this song for encouraging Japanese people with deep sympathy. Sa’di (A.D.13c)’s poem is used for the text. Yahya Ranaei was awarded “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Award” by Japanese ambassador in 2012.
(Same poem became a motto on the entrance of the United Nations building in NY.)
Need your generous support
Ranaei Family and me were like a real family, and we spent a lot of time together over those 8 and a half years. They always welcomed me and had given me hospitality, even though they were in themselves in economically challenging situation.
Since I came back from Iran in 2015, I’ve always been thinking about what I can do for them. For over a year, I couldn’t do anything for their valuable music, while I know the value is unrecognized.
And now, I decided to take first step to help them with a crowdfunding campaign.
If you act alone, you can only achieve a little. But if you work with many people together, you can achieve a great thing.
We are hoping for your support for these recordings to preserve this music for posterity!
Your generous support will help us to pay for:
・Trackdown and mixing costs
・CD Jacket design costs, photo shooting costs
・Manufacturing of the physical CD
・Sheet music printing
・Postage and handling to send rewards to our beloved supporters
・Reward CD costs
・Airfare for delivering money to musicians
Ranaei family Facebook Page