New musical encounters

Iranian-born percussionist Fakhroddin Ghaffari aka Sina has mastery over multiple Persian and Middle Eastern percussion instruments including his principal instrument, Tombak, as well as Darbuka and Daf. He has been studying Indian Classical Music for more than a decade and now doing his Ph.D in the same while working on various musical projects and cross cultural activities between Iran and India. He co-founded the Viuna Music Ensemble in 2004 and the Mehr Ban Ensemble in 2011 to promote the harmony between Persian and Indian music. Sina is the founder of World Ethnic Music Ensemble (W.E.M.E.) - very unique combination of musicians from different parts of the world

What inspired you to learn Indian Classical music?

I am from Iran. There is lot of connection between Persian music and Indian music. Indian classical music has been influenced by Persian music since the 16th century after the Mughals arrived from Persia. I always had a big interest for Indian classical music. I was always curious about Indian classical music. I started learning it as an academic and just continued.
How much has Indian classical music influenced your playing?

Tabla has influenced my playing on a very large scale. It has given a different perspective of how I am looking at my instrument. Though I don’t play table but I play a lot of tabla repertoire on my instruments.
Could you share some light on the World Ethnic Music Ensemble (WEME).

It is a collaboration of musicians from Iran, India, USA, Afghanistan, and France .Most of the compositions are original compositions that I compose myself. Since everyone belongs to different musical traditions they bring different colours to the compositions. . Some of the compositions have Western Classical vibe while some are on a solid Indo-Persian rhythmic cycle and have the same melodic form. The compositions are mostly based on Middle Eastern music and European folk music. Some of them are also based on Indian classical and Indian folk music. Dance can helps the music reach the audiences in a better and clearer way that is intended, that is why one some of the pieces we have dance as well which are choreographed and performed by Lise Moulet, a dancer and choreographer from France
Tell us about your most memorable concert.
I would say sharing the stage with Abida Parveen . It is a special moment for me!
What do you strive to convey through music?

Music always has a message of peace. I mean inner peace. It’s about finding yourself and being peaceful to yourself. I don’t think anyone can think of a world without music. My vision is to spreading this form of music – a new genre and vision.

What are your thoughts on Persian music and its connection to Iranian culture?

Iranians are very attached to Persian music. Music is in the blood in the vein of every culture.  The only segment of the culture people are most connected to is the music. The richness of Persian literature can be seen in their original compositions. The mysticism of Persian classical music is rooted in the poetry.
You do lot of collaborations. How important are collaborations for a musician.

As a musician, collaboration is very important to me. Since every collaboration is a classroom for one to learn and find out new capabilities of one’s art. For instance it has been an amazing learning experience for me while performing with the Sufi Gospel Project. With this genre of music I have to play my instruments in a different way. It is important to collaborate otherwise you will be stuck up in what you only know. Music is so big. One needs to explore other forms.

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