About the album
'Narrante' is the highly attractive ECM debut album of two Iranian women, Golfam Khayam and Mona Matbou Riahi, otherwise known as the Naqsh Duo.
The guitarist and clarinetist, both born in Teheran, have pursued further musical adventures outside Iran while remaining fascinated and strongly influenced by their homeland's rich and diverse traditions. In the process they have arrived at synthesis of their own, finding points of contact between aspects of Persian tradition and contemporary music.
The forms, modes, drones and rhythms of Persian music as well its call for improvisation are redeployed, to new creative ends, in their fresh and vital work. 'Narrante' has a vast spectrum of sources. Purely acoustic sounds depict plots that emerge discretely from often-forgotten or ignored regions of Persian music, such as the Guati, a healing ceremony in Baluchistan with its repetitive rhythmic figures and pentatonic scales (typical of the region) manifesting itself in "Narrante", or the singing improvisation traditions from Kurdistan in "Lacrimae".
The entire album is a unified piece that traverses different stages and variations of a dialogue, each related to a formal structure with open sections for improvisation. It encounters the two instruments as two individuals, separately wandering, conflicting, clashing, converging and ultimately, becoming one. 'Narrante' was recorded in July 2015 at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano and produced by Manfred Eicher and Ramin Sadighi.