Thirty Three - 33
In the last decade, Iran has experienced severe drought tied to climate change. In Isfahan this has been most noticeable in the parched riverbed of the Zayandehroud river. The once flowing river cut across the landscape and carved timeless memories in people’s minds. We walked alongside the river, we sat with it and watched the time slowly passing, not foreseeing that one day its flow would stop, its identity would fade, its mouth would be parched and filled with dust. The “Empty River of Life” ran under the historic bridges and for more than 400 years, the Se-o-se pol (Bridge of 33 Arches) made its motion and power visible. While the bridge is standing, the river is no longer running under the bridge as it used to. One day it's flowing and the next day it is literally gone. The future of the river, like the future of the country, is uncertain. We want to use this project to both pay homage to the river and to raise people’s awareness about the drought and its impacts.
The current Seattle-Isfahan Project, titled 33, has to do with the water crisis that is happening now in Iran, particularly the drought that is affecting the Zayandeh-Roud, the river that gave birth to the city of Isfahan. The project title 33 refers to the 33 arches that make up the most famous bridge across the river. As in my first project, the compositions will again incorporate poetry, this time from the Iranian contemporary poet Sohrab Sepehri, whose poetry is closely tied to nature and man’s interaction with it. The composers will include three Seattle-based composers and three Iranian women composers who live outside of Iran.
--Naeim Rahmani, Artistic Director
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