Sunday, August 1, 2010
Mohammad Nouri: Another voice of a past we love, passes away ...
Mohammad Nouri (1929-2010) was the singer of my parent's generation. I heard him more because my aunt played and sang his songs on the guitar and a relative was said to have dated him in pre-revolutionary glory-days.
Nouri was one of the first "fusion" musicians of Iran: influenced by folk songs, and performing them in western style, as far as the vocals and the orchestra composition were concerned. His music is never categorized. He was not a pop singer, not a classical singer, nor a folk singer. His music was not traditional, but his melodies and lyrics were. There is something pulsatile in his music, short harmonics, low pitch, that brings it close to jazz but with 'oriental' rather than African beats. But his music also invokes memories of French singers Edith Piaf, Jacque Brel, and Charls Aznavour.
Nouri was educated in Iran in the Honarestan-e Aali Mousighi (High college of music, or Tehran Conservatoire, envisioned by Reza Khan Pahlavi and founded by the French Alfred Jean Baptist Lemair about 100 years ago). He studied music with several musicians such as Sirous Shahrdar, Fereydoun Farzaneh, Hossein Aslani, Naser Hosseini, Mohammad Sareer, Mostafa PourTorab. (Source)
In addition, he studied English literature and theater, he wrote (or performed) 300 songs, and translated and wrote music articles. He was modest, and not a businessman. For this reason, loved by foe and friends. The You Tube video I posted below, however, is his first on-stage performance with an orchestra, in 50 years of his career. (The concert is in Tehran.)
Nouri was spared the terror other pop singers suffered after revolution, because he was 'pious'. Five years ago, he was recognized as an icon of the Iranian music, by (the now-turned-infamous Iranian broadcaster) Seda O Seema. It is important to know, that Nouri died in poverty and after struggle with 1.5 years of illness. The IRI minister of Culture and Islamic guidance did offer help, but Nouri refused. (Source: Donyaye Eghtesad, 7 July, 2010, quoting The Artistic Deputy of the Minister of Culture and Islamic guidance.)
And he died, yesterday, in a hospital bed in Tehran, at home ...
All newspapers, from left and right, are acknowledging his passing in sadness (including the Ahmadinejadist propaganda machine, False-News)
There was a song that, when aunt Khorsheed sang, made me cry:
Ne-mi-she ghos-se ma-ro [is it possible that sadness]
ye lah-ze tan-ha be-za-reh? [leave us alone one day?]
Ne-mi-sheh in gha-fe-leh [Is it possible that this caravan]
ye-rooz ma-ro ja be-za-reh? [leave us behind one day?]
See? ... pulsatile ...
Rest in peace, lovely man. May one day, your genius and contribution to the Iranian modern music be discovered in a PhD thesis ...
Posted by Naj