Art And Culture

Kalhor’s ‘Hawniyaz’ Released Worldwide

Kalhor’s ‘Hawniyaz’ Released WorldwideKalhor’s ‘Hawniyaz’ Released Worldwide

A new album by ‘kamancheh’ (bowed string instrument) virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, 53, was released worldwide on June 24. The album is named ‘Hawniyaz’ meaning ‘together’ or ‘for one another’ in Kurdish language.

It took form in a spontaneous meeting behind the scenes at Morgenland Festival Osnabrück, Germany.

Four internationally renowned musicians met to create the enchanting repertory. ‘Hawniyaz’ brings together Kalhor, Kurdish singer Aynur Dogan, Azerbaijani jazz pianist Salman Gambarov and ‘tanbur’ player Cemil Qocgiri, who was born in a Kurdish family in Germany, ISNA reported.

In the album, Kalhor plays his tailor-made kamancheh known as ‘shah-kaman’. Always an experimenter, Kalhor worked with Australian instrument maker Peter Biffin in 2011 to create this brand-new instrument. Shah-kaman is an even deeper-voiced instrument than kamancheh, the bowed, spike-ended fiddle Kalhor usually plays. With its five main playing strings and a series of sympathetic strings, shah-kaman’s viola-like richness creates a penetrating depth, according to

 Acclaimed Musician

Kayhan Kalhor is a composer of Kurdish and Persian classical music and well known as a member of the folk and classical ensemble ‘Ghazal’ and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

His mastery also covers Persian violin and setar which is a member of lute family. He is globally renowned for his original works, his interpretations of traditional music, and his collaborations with other classical and modern musicians.

Kalhor was born in a Kurdish family in Iran’s Kermanshah Province, but raised in Tehran. He began playing in Iran’s National Orchestra of Radio and Television at the age of 13. He studied classical music of the Persian radif tradition and continued his research in Kurdish and Turkic traditions in North Khorasan Province. He also studied and collaborated with the celebrated tar and setar maestro Mohammad-Reza Lofti at Tehran’s music conservatory, which is where he became proficient on the Persian violin.

His recorded debut with sitar master and vocalist Shujaat Khan, ‘Lost Songs of the Silk Road’, was released by Real World in 1997. Kalhor’s solo debut, ‘Scattering Stars Like Dust’, was issued in 1998 on Traditional Crossroads, followed later that year by ‘As Night Falls on the Silk Road,’ his second work with Shujaat Khan.

 Creative Project

In 2006, Kalhor formed an intensely creative project with the Turkish composer Erdal Erzincan. Their debut offering, ‘The Wind’ appeared on ECM to global acclaim. Kalhor was busy in 2007: two Masters of Persian Music recordings – ‘Saz-e Khamoosh’ and ‘Soroude Mehr’ -- saw release, as did the Silk Road Ensemble’s ‘New Impossibilities’.

In 2011, Kalhor collaborated with young Iranian percussionist and composer Majid Khalaj on ‘Voices of the Shades’ (Saman-e Saayeha). That year he also contributed to the soundtrack for Cinema Jenin by Marcos Vetter, and in 2012 with Brooklyn Rider for the score to Rhino Season by Bahman Ghobadi.

Later in the year, he and santoorist Ali Bahrami Fard recorded ‘I Will Not Stand Alone’. Kalhor’s second collaborative ECM album with Erzincan, Kula Kulluk Yakisir Mi: Live in Bursa, was released in the fall of 2013, according to an article by Thom Jurek, senior staff writer for