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Shahin & Sepehr

BBC: Story of the revolution

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Allan Kushan

The thundering santur

The Iranian
July 1997

The curtain lifted. You could see the outline of a man sitting in the center of the stage with his head down. The sound of the santur was faint at best.

People sitting around tables at the Noruz celebrations in Berkeley, northern California, were too busy cracking nuts and munching on fruits and cookies to notice the music.

Then suddenly, a series of thunderous sounds rocked the hall. People's jaws froze instantly and they began to listen. A delicate santur couldn't make such sounds, surely. But Alan Kushan's can. And the effect is absolutely magnificent.

Kushan, an Iranian Kurd with appropriate long, dark hair, has added piano, harp and harpsichord strings to the traditional santur, creating a unique bass sound that has brought a powerful dimension to this ancient instrument. Add Kushan's brilliant musical talent and you have something very special.

Here's a track from his CD, "Pegah: A Persian diaspora" on the XDOT 25 lable:

* Pegah

Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form