dances with West
The boys of Blurred Vision
By Mitra Sadrameli and Tandees Tanavoli
September 15, 2003
When brothers Soheil & Sepehr Osloobi first
moved to Toronto Canada in 1988, neither one of them imagined they
their own music to packed audiences in New York City, Vancouver,
"Music was always one of the biggest things
in my life," says Soheil, the 28-year-old bass player and
lyricist of Blurred Vision. "I was more interested in staying
home and playing
music than to go and play outside. Music helped me cope with the
shock of moving from Iran to Canada. When Sepehr was older I
realized that we both shared the same passion for playing music,
we were very compatible in our style. We also realized early
on that we were more interested in performing the music that we
than merely playing other people's work. In essence our music
took over us, as if it was driving us, not the other way around."
The two brothers started playing together in 1996
and two years later they started the band. Soheil explained where
the name Blurred Vision came from. "There is no absolute
black and white in life, but rather one gets to see clearly after
at life through blurred vision," in a nutshell a clear perspective
borne out of the haziness of life.
The band's choice of name
leaves no illusion that its intent
is not only to make beautiful music, rather to beautiful and relevant
brother has had formal musical training. Listening to their
music however, one would not be able to guess
21, who plays the lead guitar, sings and co-writes the songs
with his brother recalls his first experience with a musical
instrument. At the age of 15, he got his hands on a guitar,
sans strings. Everyday he would play various rock and roll videos
the guitarist's finger positioning. Sepehr would then imitate
the images on the screen.
A few months later after turning
16, Sepehr finally strung his guitar. He remembers
the recently strung
guitar immediately felt comfortable and familiar, even
though up to that point he had not actually heard any of the
music he had
"practiced" on it. Within a week, he recalls, he wrote
his first song.
Soheil, on the other hand, started playing the acoustic
guitar at the age of 20. "It felt very uncomfortable. Then
I picked up a bass at a friend's, and I knew this was it!
I had found my instrument."
Initially the Blurred Vision did not have a professional
vocalist so they would borrow friends or family to sing their songs.
recount interesting experiences with their well meaning amateur
singers. Then 3 years ago, Sepehr started fronting for the band.
"I always wanted to sing, but I wanted to perfect my instrument
Their music is a combination of harmonious rhythm
and melodies, influenced by Soheil's socially conscious lyrics.
where they get inspiration for their lyrics, Soheil replied,
"All areas of life, every road you take in life, brings
you to a point
where you reach spirituality... I would like to make people
think at the same time as they are tapping their feet to the
beat of our songs. Our inspiration comes from all aspects of
relations, human reactions, and the world around us." Sepehr
also added, "The most important aspect of a musician is
not to preach. Life around us, and everything involved in it
itself into our music."
In addition to the world around them,
Soheil's background in literature heavily contributes to
the lyrics and the feel of their music. Soheil, a big fan of
Eastern and Western literature and philosophy draws deeply
from the works
of such great Persian poets as Rumi, Hafiz, Ferdowsi as well
as many Chinese and Japanese counterparts.
Sepehr, who left Iran at too young an age, relies
on Soheil's translations of these works. Both brothers are very
and consider their on going self-imposed education a blessing
reflects itself in their music.
Blurred Vision's debut album is entitled Silent
Rain. The collection is a celebration of various instruments
from around the world intermixed with a music that reflects the
two brothers. The international flavour gives this collection a
unique sound worthy of our attention.
In Silent Rain one notices
a combination of influences from various artists such as Pink Floyd,
Frank Zuppa, Beatles, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Middle Eastern, and
African music, though they are quick to mention that they are not
out to imitate any of these artists. "Our music must stand
on its' own. If we had to categorize it, we would like it
to be considered World Music. We are not trying to imitate anyone,"
The album was in the making for the last year, although
the material for it was being developed for over 3 years. The band
added a new member during the recording of Silent Rain.
Richard Moore, a classically trained percussionist, joined Blurred
after an illustrious career of his own during which he has accompanied
many prominent artists including YoYo Ma. Moore has contributed
another layer of sophistication to an already exquisitely arranged
Another equally important member of the band - off
stage- is Gary Taylor from Talent Inc. Blurred Vision's manager.
Taylor has been in the music business for over 40 years, and
a part of Blurred Vision since it was established five years ago.
Each of the eight tracks on Silent Rain reveals
the eclectic taste of Blurred Vision. Into The Night's rhythm is
by African music. The bongos and the chanting in the back- ground
give a subtle African flavour to this track.
de Fuego [Listen] the most up-beat song in the collection
was recorded in collaboration with the Cuban band Valentin Y Dos
who among other things contributed the distinct African-Cuban
sound. Float [Listen],
another track, rides on Gregorian chants. The title track
Rain [Listen] , is a reggae-ska influenced piece. Classical middle-eastern
influence can be picket out quite easily in most of their music,
blending easily and comfortably with their eastern and western
There are no limits to the type or sound of the
instruments Blurred Vision use in their music. For brothers who
grew up with classical
Iranian music, Soheil and Sepehr exhibit an eclectic taste in
the music they listen to and the music they write.
Limited editions of Silent Rain are available
exclusively through the band's website, blurredvisionmusic.com.
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