by Babak Khiavchi
updated 20-Nov-2007

The Alchemist - A new album by Shirzad Sharif

Using ambient soundscape electronica, organic Persian & Middle Eastern drumming, sacred Sufi Tanbur, Kemanche, Setar, Tonbak & Daf music, Shirzad's groundbreaking new album creates a fine universe of sound which will take you on a journey into the deep space of sacred music without compromising the integrity of either musical forms.

The album Features

Shirzad Sharif - Tonbak, Daf, Riqq, Tanbur & Electronics
Mehrdad Arabifard - Persian Kemanche
Amir Koushkani - Persian Setar

Shirzad Sharif was born and raised to highly acclaimed musical family in Iran which has nurtured the likes of the Tar Grand Master Ostad Farhang Sharif, Shirzad was exposed to the intricacies of Persian classical music from early childhood and while in Iran studied the Tonbak drum under the supervision of Tonbak Grand Master Ostad Bahman Rajabi.

Since then he has adapted his own unique style of playing enabling him to play more percussive & melodic sounding rhythms on the Tonbak while using both traditional Persian and non-traditional Persian techniques and possibilities.

Shirzad also plays the Persian Daf frame drum & is an accomplished sacred Kurdish lute (Tanbur) performer as well.

While in the United States Shirzad has learned and is continuing his studies of Arabic & Central Asian classical drumming and is further expanding his percussive knowledge to encompass all of the regions of the greater Middle East.

He is also the first percussionist to have composed a many number of percussive compositions using the three Arabic, Persian & Indian drums & rhythms, thus connecting and creating a rhythmic triangle within the three ancient Silk Road regions.

Among some of Shirzads most recent accomplishments is founding and directing the established bay area based ensembles; Somma and Dubsitan which have produced some of the most progressive & innovative Persian music ever heard till this day.

Using the rich Persian classical music foundations and incorporating other musical forms & concepts otherwise foreign or taboo to Persian classical music, for over the last decade Shirzad has been actively creating amazingly groundbreaking music and projects strongly rooted in Persian classical music while still incorporating modern musical forms and elements such as Jazz instrumentation & modalities, Avant-Garde concepts as well as Persian Dub & Persian Electronica based compositions arranged for Persian classical music.

Order Online here

Court of Truth
Whirling of the Universe