Bild (c) Hessam Samavatian/ECM Records

Sounds that touch you in a wonderful way and paint the most beautiful pictures of distant landscapes – that is just what you will find on “Narrante” (ECM Records), the most recent album from the musicians GOLFAM KHAYAM and MONA MATBOU RIAHI.

The two Iranian born artists, Golfam Khayam (guitar) and Mona Matbou Riahi (clarinet) have embarked upon a fascinating musical journey to far off lands with their CD “Narrante”. A return to their Persian roots expressed in an exquisitely lyrical, expressive and touching form. The wonderfully atmospheric songs from the duo create images of lonely, barren, but beautiful and timeless landscapes in the minds-eye. The soft sounds and delicate melodies caress one softly, sound melancholic, secretive and also – despite all simplification – very layered, telling stories that get under the skin and awake the fantasy.


Cover „Narrante“
Cover „Narrante“

The beauty of the music made by the Swiss resident Golfam Khayam and the Vienna based Mona Matbou Riahi is that it isn’t just mired in tradition, but manages to build bridges to other playing styles and genres. In a total of nine numbers you can here the occasional hint of jazz, a sudden flash of chamber music, or simply experience wild experimentation, which makes the already diversified musical experience even more varied.  It is quite simply impossible not to be touched in some way by the music of this duo. It has a very deep and definite sound that wont let you go.

With „Narrante“, Golfam Khayam and Mona Matbou Riahi have created an extraordinary listening experience. It is an album one can and must indulge in repeatedly, simply because it so breathtakingly beautiful.

Michael Ternat (translated by David Dempsey)

Golfam Khayam & Mona Matbou Riahi live
24.07.  Guitar on the Sand Festival/ Bodrum, Turkey
08.08.  Kopenhagen Guitar Festival / Copenhagen, Denmark 
31.10.  The AHA! Festival „Universe“, Göteborg, Sweden

Golfam Khayam
Mona Matbou Riahi
ECM Records