Private Medi Mokhtari : Semillas (IR,2002)***° Flamenco & World Fusion
Before getting deeper into the music it's better to know Mehrad's backgrounds, how he came to this recording.
Mehrdad 'Medi' Mokharti has performed on popular stages throughout Iran since he was fifteen. At 16 he moved to England to complete high school before moving to Madrid to refine the flamenco style and to understand the links between eastern and western cultures to be found in Spain. After this he moved to the US to complete a bachelor degree in Architecture and a Master's degree in Interactive Computer Graphics. After having formed 'Suite N° 3', an acid jazz project (with funk, blues, jazz, rap elements) he wrote this debut album in 2002.
The instrumental pieces are arranged and produced professionally by Medi himself. He got help from a number of musicians : Pedro Eustache (nay & flute), Antonio de Jerez, (vocals, cajon & palmas), John Belezekian, (ud), Alexis Sklarevski & Ron Sures, (bass), Cassio Duarte, (world percussions), Amir Sofi, (Arabic percussions), Jaganathan Ramamoorthy, (violin) and Paul Livingstone, (sitar). Although the pieces are based upon a light play of very gentle flamenco guitar style, the arrangements give it a more full sound where no instrument comes more to the fore than necessary. All tracks are nicely interwoven. The mood is that of a quiet warm summer evening. I can only judge the music from how it appeals to my heart. I'm not a musicologist ; I can only say I've heard a lot of music and have I noticed that only a small amount of music has the ability to give something rewarding, as well as challenging, while some other music inspires a more quiet and subtle awareness, which can be found here. It's musicality, and fusing abilities are always subtle. The instrumentals are arranged and performed with a comfortable relaxed condition and sound. They are expressions like a friendly gift from a gentleman. Some tracks are more up tempo and joyful, flamenco styled with arabic (or world) rhythms (like on "Baile Gitano") , others create such warm evening moods I mentioned earlier ("Tears of Joy", "Sweetness",..). "Sufi" is the only track with flamenco singing (by Antonio de Jerez). It's more "powerful" to the fore (in a gypsy way) and has some sitar and (flamenco rock) flute to accompany the flamenco style.
The sleeve says : "In the autumn I gathered all my sorrows and buried them in my garden. And when April returned and spring came to wed the earth, there grew in my garden beautiful flowers unlike all other flowers. And my neighbours came to behold them, and they said to me "When autumn comes again at seeding time, will you not give us the seeds of these flowers that we may have them in our gardens ?", a text by famous Persian poet Khalil Gibran.*
Flamenco came forth from a style from people in exile, transforming their griefs into a powerful and interactive expression. Whenever I heard flamenco being played in the hand of professional Persian musicians, like Medi it's as if the seeds found back their way to earth and blossomed the next spring, as if the circle of transformation has completed itself with a mood of peace and beauty. This feeling can be felt more deeply in the last track of this album, "Nostalgia".
* (Medi: "Khalil Gibran was born in Lebanon and moved to the USA when he was very young. He is one of the great poets/philosophers of the 20th Century.
The poem that is printed in perian script on the cover is from Hafez, the greatest Persian poet, and has a simillar meaning to that of Gibrans.")