Monday, September 28, 2009

Voices of Freedom

Last night listening to the Shams Ensemble at Davies Symphony Hall, I felt that my breath was lured away through their beautiful lyrics. Shams Ensemble is a musical troupe formed in Tehran, over 30 years ago. The group’s songs are rooted in traditional Kurdish and Sufi music and incorporate poems of Rumi. Not only are their songs beautifully rich with meaning, but their actions are just as inspiring. The group has helped the struggle for change in Iran by incorporating women in their music and supporting Iran's Green Revolution.

The ensemble song “The Cry for Change” for Iran’s Green Revolution has become the anthem for action and involvement. The song became an underground sensation and over a million copies were distributed to Green Revolution supporters. Also, the group incorporates a couple women singers, which in Iran is a rare treat. The women singers were just recently allowed to sing since the fundamentalist Iranian government makes it difficult for Iranian women to perform.

After 18 months of trying to obtain the right to express their music, last night they finally launched their U.S tour promoting “Voices of Freedom.” The inauguration concert also supported Amnesty International by donating a portion of tickets to the organization. Shams Ensemble will be touring the U.S throughout October. The Shams Ensemble will perform in:

New York, October 11th.
Washington D.C., October 12th.
Los Angeles, October 25th.

If they come to your city, you should take the opportunity to experience their music.

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