LOW STOCK LEVEL
Dialogue with the Beloved
Released in 2004. Part of a 6CD series. Music for the tanbur by the master musician from Iran -- recorded in Tehran, 1964-72. "Ostad Elahi is a fascinating figure, a unique 20th century musical giant. His whole adult life he worked as a magistrate in Iran, yet he was acclaimed as a musician embedded in a tradition of Islamic mysticism stretching back to the tenth century. Even after retiring aged 62, in order to devote himself full time to music and spiritual research, he never performed a concert either in public or for the radio. Elahi's instrument of choice was the humble Kurdish tanbour, a long-necked lute associated more with the epic ballads of central Asian nomads than the sophisticated delights of Persian classical music. In fact, Elahi doesn't play Persian classical in the strict sense, though that is one of the many traditions he studied. He is a prime example of a musician stepping out of the tradition, drawing on Persian, Azeri, pre-Islamic musics, even Kurdish popular tunes, stretching all forms to his own visionary purpose. Between 1964 and 1972. when Elahi was in his early 70s, someone finally got a microphone in front of him. These are no-nonsense, no-effects, mono recordings, and occasionally they sound like the teapot spilt on the tapes. But Elahi's earthy mysticism comes shining through, a relentless quest for the divine via the physical propulsion of playing, and then more playing."