Art And Culture

Duet Performance to Protest IS Genocide

Duet  Performance to Protest  IS GenocideDuet  Performance to Protest  IS Genocide

An Iranian-Assyrian music composer announced that his latest performance was a protest against the genocide and crimes of the Islamic State (IS), formerly called ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The performance would be a duet of body and the piano.

Explaining his work, Honiball Yousef said, “the idea of Tanahang (Body-Music) performance struck me last year and I wanted a space, free from the binding frame of a music hall, to connect to my audience,” Jam-e-Jam quoted him as saying.

He further said the performance was initially meant to be dedicated to special diseases patients but after “I witnessed IS carnage I changed my mind. An artist cannot keep silent against such inhuman crimes.”

The Islamic State (IS) is a militant group active in Iraq and Syria. Members of the group have been committing mass atrocities and war crimes as well as abusing grave human rights since their establishment at the beginning of 2014. In Iraq the group released dozens of videos showing its ill treatment of civilians, many of whom had apparently been targeted on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. IS has killed thousands of Iraqi civilians and injured many more. Their violence in Iraq and Syria still continues.

The composer and conductor at Iran’s Messiah ensemble pointed to his special interest in improvised performance and said that he always wanted to combine it with another art. He once performed a duet between the piano and painting which was a memorable experience. This time the idea of the duet was born from conversations with theater artist Yaser Khaseb.

Yousef, on his post-modern abstract art work said it is based on folk music and improvises in later stages.

“I want it to have the feeling of the East and to convey the mood of oriental villages. For this, I get the help of Assyrian music”, he added.

  As it Happens

The president of Beneil Music Academy emphasized the improvised characteristic of the performance and said, “the beauty of it is that everything happens impromptu. We, like the audience, come to see what happens. Therefore the ambience and the audience play an important role. In my previous work, ambulance and police sirens suddenly were heard when we were playing which did not bother me at all. It was part of the city’s noise. For an artist being amongst people feels very good.”

At a press meeting held on September 21, Khaseb who will accompany Yousef with his body performance stated, “the idea of my performing and his playing the piano is a little odd since the piano has a beautiful delicate sound and my movements are somewhat violent at times.”

The theater artist noted that such improvisation is a significant risk but is absolutely thrilling at the same time. It is like walking on the razor’s edge. “Yousef and I just trust each other to ensure harmony between his piano and my body.”

The ‘Tanahang Performance’ will be performed in the open space of Tehran City Theater, in Daneshjou Park at Valieasr conjunction, on September 26.