Musical Performance: Women’s Visions: A Festival Across Genres and Traditions: From Iran, Negar Booban: "Shab e Yalda"

Sat, December 19, 2009 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Negar Booban
- Oud and Vocals

Alwan is privileged to host one of Iran's finest musicians in her U.S. debut. Partly accompanied by her own voice, Negar will give a solo instrumental oud performance in an expressive conceptualization of "the birth of the Sun", based on the mythical images in Persian beliefs about "Yalda" night. This marks the final concert of "Women’s Visions: A Festival Across Genres and Traditions."

Listen to an oud solo performed by Negar Booban.

Tickets: $20, available at the door and online here. (An online fee applies, use printout as your ticket.)

$15.00 student rush tickets available (with I.D.) at the door only. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

About Shab e Yalda

In Iran, "Shab-e Yalda" or Yalda night is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice. The origin of the word Yalda is "birth", and by Iranian myth, Yalda was thought to be the birth night of "Mehr" or "Mitra", a very important deity who gave light to the world. Mitra was always imagined to be riding four white immortal horses through the sky before the Sun, as it rose over the "Alborz" mountains. Thus, Yalda was taken as the birth night for the sun as well as the longest night. To this day, the birth of this prominent deity is still celebrated through all-night story-telling, reciting of poems from Hafez and Ferdowsi and sometimes singing until revelers see the light of dawn, just like their ancestors, waiting for the glory of the Sun to appear.

About Negar Booban:

"Brought up in a family of music lovers and musicians, I had tried to play "santoor" and "setar", but none were taken seriously. It was only at the age of 18 when I heard the sound of an Oud that I felt a sort of magic, and I just knew that I had to play it."

"Expression is what I most seek in music. Without discovering a distant or unseen part of the human soul, what can music be?"

"I believe that the whole course of life is a chance to discover, a quest to go through, not a game to play or a contest to win. So, in my music I strongly pursue a path to the inner side, mine or anyone's, a ray of light to shed on a corner of one's soul, maybe."
-Negar Booban

Born in Tehran in 1973, Negar Booban studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, earning an MA in Architecture with her design of Tehran’s future Conservatory. Focusing on special acoustic design, she concurrently studied music and musical acoustics, becoming interested in the principles of Iranian music of the past. Negar mastered the oud and Iranian radif (a collection of old melodies handed down by masters to students throughout the generations) and since 1994 has worked with numerous ensembles of Iranian classical music. She has given over one hundred performances, including the Fajr and Yas Music Festivals, and made several recordings. Negar is also deeply involved with the art of improvisation, both in traditional dastgah (Persian musical modal system) and in free improvisation on themes of various origins and modes. Her solo oud album Payaapey (Continuous) was released in August 2008. She holds a PhD in Art Research, with her dissertation on a comparative study of rhythm in Iranian music and Persian language and is currently an instructor of oud at the Tehran Conservatory of Music.

Last updated: 2009-12-18 00:12:14

Negar Booban
Negar Booban

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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