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                     Seattle World Premiere of The Wheel,

                       Inspired by Omar Khayyam’s Rubai's,

for Mandolin Orchestra, Guitars, Strings

and Voice





2018 7PM

The Wheel, featuring music from a new generation of Iranian and American composers, is based on the Rubā‘iyyāt of Omar Khayyam, the 12th-century Persian poet-astronomer.
In the poetry of Khayyam, the wheel is a metaphor that can signify the cycle of life, the astronomical cycles, or the process of creation, often expressed at the action of a potter at his wheel. In choosing The Wheel as the name for this project, I was strongly drawn to this theme in Khayyam’s poetry, particularly the idea of our place in the universe and the transitory nature of life. I imagined a circular movement from one line to the next that creates a relationship between the poem’s structure and the musical composition.
--Naeim Rahmani, Artistic Director


Why Khayyam? I began this project as a Seattle-Isfahan collaboration. As it turns out, Omar Khayyam has connections to Isfahan. In 1074 Khayyam was invited to Isfahan to establish a new astronomical observatory. It has been said that Khayyam played a major role in the creation of the Jalali or Malikī calendar, which was the most significant project of the Isfahan observatory. In addition to creating the  calendar, it's not difficult to imagine that Khayyam composed some of his Rubā‘iyyāt during his residency in Isfahan. His connection with Isfahan provided the inspiration for this project. 


One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One moment, of the Well of Life to taste--
The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
Starts for the dawn of Nothing--Oh, make haste!

Why Khayyam
Advance: General $20 | Student $15
At the door: General $25 | Student $20
Free for Ages 12 and Under.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time HERE.
Parish Hall
Trinity Parish Church
609 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Why Khayyam
New Music


Joseph Pollard White

"The Stars Are Setting" 

 Parisa Sabet

“Destiny Suite”

Ashkan Saberi

"Of Seven and the Four"

Jeffrey Bowen

"Potter and Clay"

Farid Javidan

An old potter at his wheel

Clay and dirt mould and deal

My inner eye would reveal

My father's dust bears his seal.

The compositions in this program are inspired by the Rubā‘iyyāt in either their musical structure or verses. The word Ruba‘ī (plural: Rubā‘iyyāt), originates from the Arabic word, al-Rabi‘ , meaning the number four.  It refers to the structure of the poem. These poems consist of 4 lines of 13 syllables each with the rhyme scheme AABA or AAAA; the rhythm within each line is rather free. In his composition "Of Seven and The Four" the Seattle-based composer Jeffrey Bowen incorporates the poetic meter of the Ruba'i as a rhythmic mantra for the guitar quartet and also evokes the inflection and vocal color of the poems' actual recitations in the entwined vocal and viola lines. The Rubā‘iyyāt have been popular amongst  Iranians for centuries. They are a poetic and philosophical commentary on the human condition and experience. Many people have found in them a voice that they needed to hear, a voice that Khayyam himself found troubling and was conflicted by. This is the voice of the Potter of The Wheel.


O you, the child of Seven and the Four,
In fray with Four and Seven evermore;
Drink wine! I warned a thousand times before,
Once gone, you shall return Here nevermore!
New Music


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