Vaak is a Persian word for ‘vibrations that vocal chords make’. In this, the first festival of its kind, VAAK EAST brings Londoners two evenings (July 1-2, 2022) of music celebrating diasporic Iranian ‘Vaak’ from around Europe. Among the artists are Austrian acts, /KRY (with Mona Matbou Riahi) and GOLNAR & MAHAN TRIO.
Starting with emerging, highly lauded London-based Koroush Kanani guitar trio and their perfect East/West blend, then comes /kry (with Mona Matbou Riahi) from Austria, bringing their unique intricate sound and style to the evening, which will end with the multi-faceted musical storytelling of Golnar & Mahan Trio.
The second evening begins with new and established London-based artists, starting with the multi-textured experimental soundscapes of Phemo quartet formed by Ashkan Layegh and Roya Arab (the first female Iranian musician to write and record in the UK post 1979) and friends sharing new and old songs; before Paris brings us Azarine Trio’s diverse skilful sonic tapestry with guests and Habib Meftah closes the Vaak festival with his electronica infused, roof raising Afro-Iranian rhythms from Southwest Iran.
Offering a masterful and fresh approach to the art of musical storytelling, Golnar & Mahan Trio – Golnar Shahyar (vocals, guitar), Mahan Mirarab (fretless guitar, oud) and Amir Wahba (percussion) -draw together elements of contemporary jazz, Southwest Asian microtonal modes, poly-rhythmic grooves, European chamber and experimental music to create an original sound. A sound that elegantly claims attention to a new generation of creatives in the European diaspora whose approach and cultural references are confronting the accustomed ears of what contemporary music could/should be. The trio improvises its way through structured compositions, powerful grooves and most delicate sounds in such masterful ways that one can hardly notice the complexity of their music.
An instrumental trio formed in Vienna by Mona Matbou Riahi, Philipp Kienberger and Alexander Yannilos. Unattached to any specific genre or style, /kry’s sound is a revelry of simplicity and intuition, a celebration of complexity and control and an intricate fusion of its individual members’ broad musical spectrum.
Mona Matbou Riahi is a well established voice in the international scene. Her work combines contemporary and classical elements, improvisation as well as electronic experimentation. Her credits include the Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra, Iranian Duo “Naqsh“ (ECM Records), Anthony Braxton, Gabbeh, and many more.
For more info on the festival, go here.