An Insight into the History of Sound Recordings in Iran

Categories: Events,News,ohwb,Project

Dear friends of Oriental Heritage, Culture and Music

We are extremely happy to invite you to our final symposium on the results of our recent documentation project “The Voices from Beyond” taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran, Iran. The symposium is entitled “An Insight into the History of Sound Recordings in Iran: Introduction of the Iranian Wax Cylinders of Berlin Phonograph Archive” and the event is held in cooperation with the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Mahoor Institute of Culture & Arts on Tuesday December 13th between 16.00-20.00 in the afternoon. We would be grateful for your participation if and when interested and thus looking forward to your visit.

The project “Voices from Beyond” was initiated, organized and executed by OHWB e.V. as it strived to document, conserve and reconstruct through its digitization, a series of Iranian music collections based on the historic wax cylinder records (i.e. phonographs) available in Germany and historical audio recordings from Iran over a period of two years; in collaboration with the Ethnological Museum of Berlin, Mahoor Institute of Culture and Arts and Music Museum of Iran together with relative specialists in this field. The results of which is now being published and will be available in due time as an informative CD album with selected records accessible through our official website. This Project would not have been possible without the kind and financial support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received through the Cultural Department of the German Embassy in Tehran.

The significance of such a project is not only in its realization, through the collection and digitization process of a series of historical audio documents, nor only for the preservation of an invaluable source of Iranian intangible heritage and bringing them back to the country of its origin, but mostly due to the recognition of an urgency and deliberate timing for launching such a discrete project. Disregarding the fact, that the cylinders even when fostered under the best conditions are not everlasting, yet the time, and in actual fact the cultural gap, between the original music performances and the time by which they are now listened to has become ever more distant. Thus, it was essential to get these documents audible and available for the interested public and professionals during this specific time and generation; still when concerned receivers with an association to this kind of musical culture are in existence, and especially for those who could possibly recollect or better still fully understand them. Study of such rare sound recordings could thus further contribute to filling the gaps in our knowledge of the history of Iranian music and thereby lead to the compilation of a possibly new narrative for the music of Iran.