Art And Culture

Eastern Melodies, Western Harmony in ‘Gilgamesh’

The album is based on the Epic of Gilgamesh and illustrates human fascination with the concept of life and a diligent struggle for survival
Payam Ronaq playing didgeridoo Payam Ronaq playing didgeridoo

‘Gilgamesh,’ a music album composed and produced by musician, writer and painter Payam Ronaq, is to be unveiled on February 10 in Tehran.

Ronaq, 45, is known as a player of didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed by indigenous people of northern Australia, classified as a brass aerophone. 

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, he said the concept of the “anti-war album” had come about in 2013. 

“We started recording the music in 2014. It is a musical narrative with an antiwar concept,” Ronaq said. The ancient Mesopotamian ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature, was used in the album that is meant to help promote peace.

“Western electronic music dominates the work and is accompanied by rarely-used eastern melodies. I hope the musical tracks can help people have some moments of calm and peace.”

The album blends western harmony with eastern melodies from India and other parts of Asia. “The album is based on the Epic of Gilgamesh. It illustrates human fascination with the concept of life and a diligent struggle for survival.” 

In fact, the legend is an ancient statement that love for life is in human nature. “We tried to convey this concept with spiritual melodies of the East.”

“Unfortunately, after the September 11 attacks (in 2011) on the World Trade Center in New York, the world has become full of conflicts and tensions. This is why I used music as a medium to convey the message of peace and tolerance,” Ronaq said.

“In the album, didgeridoo is used as a complementary instrument, and only where needed. In addition to it, electronic instruments have been used.

As for the other instruments in the album, oud is played by Milad Derakhshani, 32. Mohsen Sharifian, 41, plays bagpipe, Ehsan Shafiee, 34, percussion and Zhoubin Kalhor, kamancheh (fiddle). 

The unveiling ceremony of the album will be held at Kelk Art Gallery, located at No. 7, Sina Alley, Zafar Street.

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