An exciting global music project that brings regional texture together and follows different musical trade routes.
The Persian word Bigah translates as ‘beyond time and place’. Composer, arranger and Persian santoor player Javid Afsari Rad’s new work for Ultima is a collision between ancient traditional instruments and a contemporary string quartet, composition and improvisation, in which time and space are equated to light and shadow. Bringing together musicians from globally diverse backgrounds and traditions in an essentially improvised setting, the project is a microcosm of the way societies and cultures are transformed and enriched by migration in the 21st century.
Founded by Rad in 2015, NOWOR is a multicultural ensemble consisting of musicians bringing influences from Iran, Senegal, India and Mali as well as classical and jazz players.
Rad himself plays various instruments, focusing on the santoor. Musicians are thrown into proximity with scales, rhythms and tuning systems unfamiliar to their own musical training, and a new harmony emerges out of the encounter. Instruments and textures dating from ancient times are renewed and refreshed for the modern era, closing the gap in time.
For anyone who has experienced moving to a different country from their homeland, adapting to new modes of living, and to deal with the feeling of being ‘out of place, out of time’, will be a familiar sensation.