Classical vocalist and tonbak player Homayoun Shajarian, and composer Sohrab Pournazeri are to stage a multimedia performance based on the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), the epic poem written by celebrated Persian poet Ferdowsi (940-1020).
The multimedia project is titled ‘Si’ (30 in Persian). The number refers to an introductory verse attributed to Ferdowsi, explaining about the long, arduous and exhausting work of composing and compiling the poem which comprises some 100,000 verse lines: “For 30 years I endured much pain and strife, With Persian I gave the Ajam (here: Persian language) verve and life.”
‘Book of Kings’ is in fact the world’s longest epic poem written by one poet. From its cornucopia of stories, two have been picked by Shajarian, 42, and Pournazeri, 35. The two artists will present different, contemporary narratives for the two stories on August 6 at Sa’dabad complex in Tehran, according to musiceiranian.ir, a local website on music events.
The stories to be featured are ‘Rostam and Esfandyar’ and ‘Zal and Rudabeh.’
‘Rostam and Esfandyar,’ is among the longest episodes in the Shahnameh. Esfandyar, the son and crown prince of Kayanian King Goshtasp, meets Rostam, the most celebrated hero of the book. Esfandyar is commanded to bring the aging Rostam in chains for his arrogance and disrespect toward the king. But Rostam refuses to be put in chains and stands his ground. The two heroes eventually meet in single tragic combat.
The other tale, ‘Zal and Rudabeh’ is a love story between Zal, son of Sam, and Roudabeh, the beautiful daughter of Mehrab. Zal loses his heart in love, but both his father and King Manuchehr disapprove the marriage between him and Rudabeh who is a descendant of Zahhak, an evil ruler previously defeated.
The program is aimed to attract people from all age groups. Using performing art, music and animation, ‘Si’ seeks “to reinforce patriotism among the audiences.”
A press briefing on Si Multimedia Project is slated for June 18 at Espinas Hotel located on Keshavarz Blvd, when more details of the program will be announced.