January 4th - Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar

Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar - Dariush Dolat-Shahi, 1985

Today's pick is a really interesting album from an Iranian-American composer who combines electronic and traditional Persian music - or it may be more accurate to say that he is accompanying traditional Persian music with electronic tones, drones, recorded nature sounds, etc. There is some indication in the liner notes that he might be improvising these pieces and then composing the electronic accompaniment later, but I'm not really sure.

One thing I am sure of: this album is really good! I find a lot of the electronic/traditional "fusion" music of this era (that I've heard, at least) to be a little cheesy but all of the elements on this album are really well-balanced. To my theory-less ear it sounds like Dolat-Shahi uses the electronic elements to provide variations on the rhythmic and drone elements you find in Persian music. It's really good - he has a second album on Smithsonian Folkways, Otashgah: Place of Fire,  that is all electronic, and although I'm not going to cover it in this project it's definitely worth a listen 

Click here to read liner notes and purchase this album from Smithsonian Folkways