The Garage: Persian-flamenco fusion made in Vancouver

The Garage: Persian-flamenco fusion made in Vancouver ... 27/09/2016 Fun

Keywords:#Arts, #Farnaz, #Farnaz_Ohadi, #Flamenco, #Iranian, #Persian, #September, #Tom_Harrison, #Vancouver,

Tom Harrison
Published on: September 26, 2016
Farnaz Ohadi has merged her Iranian culture and interest in Spanish music on the album Bird Dance.

* * * Flamenco and Persian poetry shouldn’t meet but in Farnaz Ohadi they have.
Ohadi somehow but beautifully merged her Iranian culture and interest in Spanish music on the album Bird Dance, which gets heard in concert at the Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts, Oct. 1.
“About four or five years ago, I started thinking about mixing the Persian language with flamenco music,” Ohadi remembers. “I thought it couldn’t be done. The Persian language is so gentle and flamenco is so aggressive.
“No one had tried to merge them — flamenco and Persian,” she continues. “No one had attempted to merge the rhythms.”
Several factors changed her mind. There was her experience of an Iranian woman making a dramatic move to Vancouver that she had put into song, and her growing involvement in flamenco music and dance. Her story and a desire to push musical boundaries reached a peak in 2012 at a concert that tested the water.
“The response was overwhelming,” she says. “For the first time it felt like an art form. It was coming from within.”
Thus fired up, she embarked on two years of intensive study, hired two vocal coaches and lined up a mixture of “world music” musicians, some from the flamenco scene who didn’t know anything about Iranian culture.
“Persian is quiet and there is a dignity about it,” Ohadi notes. “Flamenco is the opposite of that.
“I can’t express how free I feel.”
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