Meet The Chemiranis
Djamchid Chemirani, born in 1942, has studied the tombak since the age of eight. He learnt to play with the great zarb master, Hossein Teherani, whose revolutionary work changed the zarb from an accompaniment to a solo instrument. Recognised himself as a master of the classical school, Djamchid Chemirani was also seen as a modernist, open to new ideas and styles. Since 1961 he has taught at the Centre d’Etudes de Musique Orientale in the Paris Sorbonne Institut de Musicologie.
Keyvan Chemirani, born in Paris in 1968, started learning the tombak at the age of 13. He studied for his masters in mathematics until 1989, when he launched an international career as soloist and accompanist. He also plays the udu, an earthenware jug used in the East and in Africa, as well as the bendir and the riqq, two percussion instruments from the Mediterranean area. He has participated in exchanges with the likes of Titi Robin, Erik Marchand, Françoise Atlan and Carlo Rizzo … outstanding dialogues between musical cultures from Iran, India and Mali, captured in a series called “The rhythm of speech”. ‘… Two decades on Chemirani, now a world-renowned zarb master himself, is the driving force behind a cross-continental collaboration between his own family and musicians from India and Mali …’ read more.
Bijan Chemirani, the cadet, was also born in France. He began his professional career while still in secondary school. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and leader in his own right. Bijan performs also with musicians such as Ross Daly, Stelios Petrakis and Sam Karpienian.
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Unlike other top instrumentalists, there is very little about the Chemiranis on the net specially the illustrious father. You can find a little more about Keyvan here and here, and about Bijan here and here. See also WOMAD Sri Lanka 2005 and here.
Tombak, also known as tonbak, donbak, dombak and zarb, is a goblet drum from Iran. It is the chief percussion instrument of Persian classical music. It is a one-headed drum that is carved of a single piece of wood, and is open on the bottom. Across the larger, upper part of the body is streched a sheepskin membrane, that is glued into place. Thus, the instrument cannot be tuned; the performer prepares it for a piece by warming the membrane over a heater. Persian Classical Music, Duke