A selection of songs performed by duo Hyperborea takes us on a unique sound and visual journey across Persia.
Helena MacGilp and Chris Elmes tell stories of yearning, of unattained love that seems an essential theme of much Mediterranean and Middle Eastern music.
The Moroccan muwashah ‘Ya rasha fattan’, in classical Arabic, compares a distant loved one to a gazelle (a symbol of beauty and elegance) and in the Türkü ‘Arpalar oruk oldu’ the lover leaves unexpectedly, not to return. ‘Shabi majnoun’ is a famous medieval Persian poem about Leyla and Majnoun – lovers who could never be together. The Egyptian ‘Samra ya Samra’ has the singer ‘disturbed by her beauty’ and compares her to a beautiful song. ‘Jas ke ti dojdam’, from North Macedonia, is rather more optimistic and sings of the girl with ‘eyes black as cherries’.
Helena MacGilp: Voice, barbat, percussion
Chris Elmes: Bozuk, oud, Macedonian tambura
Courtenay Drakos: Head of lighting
Chris Elmes: Sound editing
Robert Motyka: Multi projections, Video editing
Piotr Motyka: Camera, Video editing
Kat Długosz: Camera
Robert Henderson: Audio recording
Banana Row Studios, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
Produced by African Connections CIC for the Edinburgh Multicultural Festival