"Music in the Islamic World" Interview by Cory Lasser
1. The role of some of the music that you play is connected to the Sufi sect of Islam. Do you feel that this fact is more or less important than the music itself?
2. How can a non-religious western listener understand the Sufic connection to a higher power through music?
3. You left Iran before the Ayatollah's laws took power, and thus greatly limited the opportunies for musicians in Iran. Why did you leave at that time,and how have musicians who stayed in Iran been able to practice their craft?
4. There is an Iranian musican named Googoosh who decided to stay in Iran in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power, even with the fact that she would not be able to perform or record. Why do you think she stayed in Iran, and how do you feel about that choice?
5. You have scored Iranian film and theatre. How recently did you do this work, and was it at all limited by the Iranian government?
6. In Afghanistan, under the Taliban, music was not publicly played or recorded for over 10 years. Do you feel that there are similarities between how music has
been treated in Iran since 1979 and how it was treated in Afghanistan?
7. In 1989, "licit" religious music was once again allowed to be played in Iran. Today, reformist President Mohammad Khatami seems to have created an environment that has allowed the annual Fajr festival to diversify in the musicians allowed to play, even including Jewish musician in 2000. Do you feel that steps such as these will allow music to one day be played freely in Iran?
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