The City’s Song - The Tehran Sessions

Thomas Noël, Farnoosh Khodadadeh and Jonatan Lyssens went to Tehran for the project The City's Song. Their meeting with Soroosh Gharahmanloo was the start of a musical and visual journey.

The concert with accompanying images that resulted from this, with additional contributions by Robbe Kieckens on percussion and Anaïs Moffart on double bass, has already toured through Belgium and Germany. The musicians will be on stage together again next summer.

In addition to this live concert, a concert film and a photo report were also produced.

photos © thomas noel

Tehran. When you hear this, you probably think of political conflicts with the USA or delicate nuclear deals. You would forget that there are just people like you and me. About 13 million, living in a kaleidoscopic metropolis with fabulous monuments and suburbs where the highways cross. Children playing in the street, shopkeepers behind their stalls, well-educated young people looking for work, artists testing the limits of what they can and may express. In a city where time stands still and yet lives fully in the now.

Thomas Noël seizes this "now" to travel to the streets and houses of Tehran within his project The City Song and to sniff the music. The Ghent project The City Song wants to create a contemporary, musical and visual portrait of the city together with local artists, a new kind of journalism with music as language and images as carriers. They try to capture the identity of the city, the atmosphere, the many human interactions and activities. That is how The Ramallah Sessions came about, with Wouter Vandenabeele and Shadi Zaqtan, among others. Previous episodes have been set in Mexico City and Johannesburg.

Thomas' companions for this edition are Soroosh Gharahmanloo, a tall man with an epic beard and a renowned name in Iran as a setar player and singer, and Farnoosh Khodadadeh, who once emigrated to Belgium for love and now acts as an interpreter on her Iranian frame drum. Together they make music, inspired by both classical poets and contemporary word artists from Tehran. In that music, the two composers, Thomas and Soroosh, fuse Iranian rhythms and timbres with a harmonic drive of Western Europe. Farnoosh's daf provides the percussive salt and pepper.

Together they show you the other sides of Tehran, the beautiful and the less beautiful, with a view to who stays, but also who left. They do this in various and fascinating ways: concerts with accompanying images, a concert film based on those concerts, a CD, a photo report.
Tehran as you've never seen it: small and grand, beautiful and tragic, from different perspectives. Let yourself be carried away, moved, overwhelmed.



Tuesday 28 June 2022

8:00 pm

(opening expo Tehran Sessions = wed.05.11 at 8:00 pm - expo u/ 06.30)

Free entrance

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