Navaye Mehr Band, Iran

Archaelogical evidence of Persian instruments goes back to harps used for rituals in Iran as early as 3100BC. From religious significance on Zoroastrian holy days, Persian cultures elevated music to an aristocratic artform at royal courts.

Centuries after the after the Arab invasion of Iran, Sufi metaphysics brought a new dynamic to Persian music. Spiritual substance is transmitted through rhythm, metaphors and symbolism, melodies, vocal delivery, instrumentation, composition, and even the etiquette and co-ordination of performances.

Our festival brings you a window onto this cultural inheritance for the first time. “Navay e Mehr” translates as “tune of kindness”, reflecting how poetry plays an important role in carrying the music’s messages of “love , mysticism and maternal lullabies”. The band has made special efforts to bring a repertoire representative of a wide geographical heritage, drawing from Lorestan and Kurdestan in Iran’s west, Gilaki in the north, Khorasan, Ghoochani, and Birjandi in the northeast, and Shirazi and Bandari in the center and the south.