'Naazninay': Kashmiri and Iranian artistes collaborate on bilingual music video

Qiaser Nizami

A team of accomplished Kashmiri and Iranian origin artists have come together in the state of Texas in the United States to collaborate on a project amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The collaboration resulted in a bilingual musical video ‘Naazninay’-O Beauty-, inspired by a Kashmiri melody by Qaiser Nizami, and arranged by Ehsan Matoori, a US-based musician and Santoor player of Iranian origin, said a spokesman of Amateur Theatre Group, in a statement.

“It is the first of its kind collaboration between renowned vocalists Alireza Ghorbani (Iran) and Qaiser Nizami (Kashmir), which has brought together a team of accomplished artists, academics, musicians and choreographers from different countries, including India, Iran, Lebanon, and the United States,” he said.

Ehsan Matoori

He said Ghorbani is a foreground singer of the Persian song and a master of numerous scales of Middle Eastern music while Nizami specializes in Indian classical and Sufiyana tradition of Kashmir.

‘Naazninay’ is set to be released on July 27 by Sheed Records and will be available on all international digital platforms such as Spotify, Itunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Google Play, among others. 

Alireza Ghorbani

The music video is directed by famous Iranian filmmaker, Afshin Hashemi, director of Soft Voice, a feature film in English which was screened at many international film festivals. The song will also be published by BBC Persian on July 27. 

With musicians like the Grammy-award winning Mike Block and dancers from three different ethno-cultural backgrounds, viz., Indian, Iranian and African-American, the video shooting was done in Tehran and in Chicago.

Sadaf Munshi

The production is part of a larger multilingual, multicultural project called ‘The Voices and Bridges’, founded, composed and arranged by Ehsan Matoori, with Dr. Sadaf Munshi as the linguistic advisor on the project. 

‘The Voices and Bridges’ uses melodies and poetic traditions from different cultures across the globe as an inspiration to carve soul-touching and mellifluous compositions.

Afshin Hashemi

The lyrics are based on compositions of different time periods from various parts of the world by prominent poets such as Jorge Borges, Nima Yooshij, Pablo Neruda, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazim Hikmet, Pierre Reverdy, Allama Iqbal, Margot Bickel and Lal Ded.