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Bird, and the Cage

by Kamyar Arsani

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1.
I'm the bird, and I'm the cage. I have put the bars up one by one myself. I give you my feathers one by one and silently watch you burn them one by one Because I am the bird, and I'm the cage You were the burning fire I am still here The cage is cold Cold پرنده ام قفسم میله ها را خود یک به یک‌بسته ام یک به یک پرهای خود را در آتش عشق تو سوزاندم حال آتش در خاموشی به حالم میخندد پر هایم را باز میکنم هنوز اینجام قفس سرد است سرد
2.
By Sohrab Sepehri Translated by Kamyar Arsani I dripped on the grass. I’m the sleepy dew on the star That has dripped on the grass My place was not here. Lantern, Is washing in the clamorous crib of the sea Where goes this lantern, This drunken lantern in love with the sea? On the stage of a tile in a far away horizon My eyes are whirling with a dance of angels in the fog Whispers of the night grow in my veins. Drunkenness rains seaweed on my thirsty wall of soul I am a dripped star. I have dripped from invisible eye of mistake: Night filled with asking And the horizon's warm body was naked. The white vein of grass’s green marble was whispering And the moon walked down from the blue stairs of the east. Angels were dancing. And their blue dresses blended with the color of horizon. Whispers of the night got me drunk Window of a dream opened And she came through like a breeze روی علف ها چکیده ام. من شبنم خواب آلود یک ستاره ام که روی علف های تاریک چکیده ام. جایم اینجا نبود. نجوای نمناک علف ها را می شنوم جایم اینجا نبود. فانوس در گهواره خروشان دریا شست و شو می کند کجا می رود این فانوس ، این فانوس دریا پرست پر عطش مست ؟ بر سکوی کاشی افق دور نگاهم با رقص مه آلود پریان می چرخد. زمزمه های شب در رگ هایم می روید. باران پر خزه مستی بر دیوار تشنه روحم می چکد. من ستاره چکیده ام. از چشم نا پیدای خطا چکیده ام: شب پر خواهش و پیکر گرم افق عریان بود. رگه سپید مرمر سبز چمن زمزمه می کرد. و مهتاب از پلکان نیلی مشرق فرود آمد. پریان می رقصیدند.
3.
By Sohrab Sepehri Translated by Kamyar Arsani From the night, my roots rooted, And dropped to the whirlpool of the sun I was hesitant: Opened my gate to the stone. I lived in the ditch of existence My intelligence did not open the night Did not brighten my light I lived you, faraway velocity I let go , so the pouring of light, would roll the night over my manners My awakening was closed in: I was a sleep-walker on the road of watching And there always arrived someone From the garden And gifted me a new-born fear And there always came the farmer with his ax And dropped wheat of secret by my side. And always stayed I and the vast dark Me and the chaos in the sun And from the journey to the sun I come filled with darkness I have become a bigger shadow And like a shadow I stand on the lip of the light Night opens wide, smile blooms and earth wakes up Morning exudes from clay of the sky And the night branch of my thought bends on the edge of time از شب ریشه سر چشمه گرفتم ، و به گرداب آفتاب ریختم. بی پروا بودم : دریچه ام را به سنگ گشودم. مغاک جنبش را زیستم. هشیاری ام شب را نشکافت، روشنی ام روشن نکرد: من ترا زیستم، شتاب دور دست! رها کردم، تا ریزش نور ، شب را بر رفتارم بلغزاند. بیداری ام سر بسته ماند : من خابگرد راه تماشا بودم. و همیشه کسی از باغ آمد ، و مرا نوبر وحشت هدیه کرد. و همیشه خوشه چینی از راهم گذشت ، و کنار من خوشه راز از دستش لغزید. و همیشه من ماندم و تاریک بزرگ ، من ماندم و همهمه آفتاب. و از سفر آفتاب، سرشار از تاریکی نور آمده ام: سایه تر شده ام وسایه وار بر لب روشنی ایستاده ام. شب می شکافد ، لبخند می شکفد، زمین بیدار می شود. صبح از سفال آسمان می تراود. و شاخه شبانه اندیشه من بر پرتگاه زمان خم می شود.
4.
To Earth 04:02
Poem by Sohrab Sepehri Translated by Kamyar Arsani Fell down. What an echo heard the demon. And the quake that ran from depth of sorrow onto heavens I’m in myself and a crow by the fountain Body of darkness, the silver ax of light Smell of wastes, and the orbit spinning Night of awareness: I am left behind Where is the hardship of bodies, Where is the smell of earth Where is the dimensionless fold of angels? Now the wind, my window gone to endlessness Blood dripped, on my chest the sand of desert! Said something, and times blew and blew Over the yards evergreen This, flower of thought And that, idol stone of a friend No! Although rises the smell of sludge, From the toad who has eaten eternity. Another meeting: affirmative, Beautiful opening to the light It was scared, my hand fell to the ground Existence sat by the window: Staring at me: the never dying sorrow افتاد . و چه پژواکی که شنید اهریمن. و چه لرزی که دوید از بن غم تا به بهشت. من در خویش ، و کلاغی لب حوض. خاموشی، و یکی زمزمه ساز. تنه تاریکی ، تبر نقره نور. و گوارایی بی گاه خطا. بوی تباهی ها، گردش زیست. شب دانایی. و جدا ماندم : کو سختی پیکرها، کو بوی زمین، چینه بی بعد پری ها؟ اینک باد، پنجره ام رفته به بی پایان . خونی ریخت، بر سینه من ریگ بیابان باد! چیزی گفت، و زمان ها بر کاج حیاط ، همواره وزید و وزید. اینهم گل اندیشه ، آنهم بت دوست. نی ، که اگر بوی لجن می آید، آنهم غوک ، که دهانش ابدیت خورده است. دیدار دگر، آری : روزن زیبای زمان. ترسید، دستم به زمین آمیخت. هستی لب آیینه نشست، خیره به من : غم نامیرا.
5.
Altar 03:14
Poem by Sohrab Sepehri Translated by Kamyar Arsani There was emptiness, and a breeze darkness and a star There was existence and a whisper. There were lips and a prayer. There was me and you: A prayer and an alter تهی بود و نسیمی. سیاهی بود و ستاره ای هستی بود و زمزمه ای. لب بود و نیایشی. من بود و تویی: نماز و محرابی.
6.
This Journey 02:38

about

"These songs were written and recorded in November of two thousand and twenty one, in an apartment that was temporary, but filled with permanent melodies. I started practicing to whirl (Sama’) and I heard the universe speak through the wind. I raised the Daf to hold the sun as chains of traveling lights would glow against the dark. We have been contemplating for the past seven thousand years you see." --Kamyar Arsani, 2022

Kamyar Arsani is an Iranian multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter based in Washington, DC. Through his solo work and numerous collaborations, Arsani creates music across a variety of styles, ranging from classical Persian music to genre-defying electronic experimentation. A teacher, performer, and scholar of the Daf ●●● the Iranian frame drum ●●● Arsani has been a featured artist at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Voice of America, Georgetown University and numerous other stages.

Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Arsani first studied music with Bijan Kamkar, an internationally renowned master of the Daf. He later studied the kamancheh, a Persian string instrument, under the tutelage of masters Ardeshir Kamkar and Sohrab Pournazeri. Since arriving in the United States a decade ago, Arsani has expanded his circle of instruments to include the drum kit, guitar, ukelele, melodica and various percussion.

Bird, and the Cage is Arsani's first full release for FPE Records, after his track "Gham e-yar" appeared on 2021's A Compilation For Practically Everyone. Here he sets an original poem along with four poems of the Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri. Daf, acoustic guitar, piano, flute, electronics and Arsani's liquid singing in Farsi evoke hypnotic moods familiar to fans of obscure masterpieces like Scott Walker's 1995 album Tilt and Vangelis's 1973 Earth.

Deep. Light and darkness playing about each other at the surface of a pool, ripples disturbed by the motion of heavenly bodies alone. The sorrow and ecstasy of the liminal edge of life and death, seen at once from inside and out. Get the picture? That's what we're talking about here.

Bird, and the Cage will be available digitally from FPE Records July 15, 2022.

credits

released July 15, 2022

Sohrab Sepehri, the contemporary Persian poet (1928-1980), knows the language of earth and he speaks to me from another universe when I read him. I bring his words to you with the music I hear in my veins.

All songs written by Kamyar Arsani. Recorded and mixed by Kamyar Arsani. Mastered by Greg Obis, Chicago Mastering Service.

Poetry for track 1 by Kamyar Arsani. Tracks 2,3,4,5 are poems of Sohrab Sepehri translated to English by Kamyar Arsani.

Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff. Design by Leticia Arioli.

This is FPE Records #42, 2022.

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Kamyar Arsani Washington, D.C.

Kamyar Arsani, a scholar of the DAF _ the Iranian frame drum _is an Iranian multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter based in Washington D.C area. Through his solo work and numerous collaborations, Arsani creates music across an array of styles, ranging from classical Persian music to genre-defying electronic experimentation.l ... more

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