Iranian Song Phoenix
Presented to the pure spirit of Master Mohammad-Reza Shajarian
Author: Peyman Poorshakibaii
Translation to English: Rozita Nezami
Edits and voice reading: Keith Ward
A work from the Cultural Group of Garozman, November 2020
Artists show the nature of God in their creativity. Music, the companion of poetry, has protected the heritage of a nation through the ups and downs of history. Awareness of ideas, thoughts, spoken and unspoken, done and not done, is visible within the world of poetry and music. Men and women who have lived, loved, and suffered in this land are immortal in the body of poetry and melody. The footprints of a poetic and musical caravan have guided us back to previous lost cultures, histories, and the aspirations of the people of this land. Because of the poem, speech and melody were valued with immortality. Through it, men and women could look at all the people of the universe with wisdom and feeling. The expression of soul and body is achieved by the dexterity of the poet-singer, and this is of special value to the Iranian people, because they are the creators of poetic music.
October 9, 2020 was the ascension day of the Iranian phoenix of song, Master Mohammad Reza Shajarian. This unique man was an unparalleled master of music, poetry, recitation, composition, calligraphy, horticulture, building instruments, art and art criticism. All of the men and women in this land, artists in the above-mentioned disciplines, acknowledge Master Shajarian. They know the value of this pure Gem. Holy symbol of singing art, the light of God, was entrusted to him, like to that of the Master of Toos, Ferdowsi, in order to protect the Persian language from death. He is not only familiar with a powerful foundation of poetry, but he has also used melody to combine the art of human reading with the supreme language of world literature, to the surprise of the world. He stood up against the hardships and difficulties ahead of us that we are all aware of and, with the awareness of his hard work and belief, he gave a very valuable gift superior to a precious treasure to Iran and all Iranians.
Master Mohammad Reza Shajarian trekked a complicated journey of musical development. He was fortunate enough to reap his understanding from other great men of Iran, and with curiosity, diligence, and love, to follow a difficult path, and in this way reach an unattainable position and become a role model for future generations who love the art of singing.
Indeed, it would take centuries for such a great man to be born and raised in one land. This great and unique artist has an immortal place in the memory and heart of the people. He will become a mythical writer alongside such greats as Ferdowsi, Molavi, Saadi, Hafez, Khayam, … and they will remain immortal as long as Iran exists. His songs and poems will be the whisper of every Iranian and will last side by side. Songs, melodies, suitable for his singing and innovations in music that is rooted in pure Iranian culture. His music will be taught in the universities for years. Researchers have years to research and learn from his achievements.
I drew coal on my eyes from the dust of the feet of enlightened people
To see with the heart’s eye your face with the light of sight
I don’t need to describe you in the world
Which is undoubtedly obvious in goodness wherever you are
Mohamad ali pourshakibaei
He used melody, not only in singing, but also in understanding poetry.Those who are aware of the art and history of music know how the song was sung in the past, and how Master Shajarian with his hard work, knowledge, and ingenuity, has developed it even further. The celestial voice gifted him with the ability to read, to understand the poem correctly, to sing it flawlessly and unequivocally, and made him a unique and unrivaled artist. Undoubtedly, I believe that if someone is born a master like that of Ferdowsi, he will also be born from Shajarian, the Phoenix of Iranian song.
In this lecture, what is important to be written is not only the art and knowledge of music, but also the cultural themes and Iranian quality of the land that we love. Undoubtedly, the ruler of the sky, or the Mina Dome, brought a creature to this land to sing the song of the Dawn Bird, or Morgh e Sahar, to wake the sleepers. He called on Bidad to hand over the city of Yaran to the helpers. Love knows what he has done. His song resonates from the mouth of Hafez and Saady, opening their poem’s secrets. He has his heart in the throes, as in Janan, and sings on the firm belief of Nava’s love. He imagines you and me to understand the riddle of existence in poetry with the advice of thought in poetry. He shouts the “Sky of love” in the “Night, Silence and Desert.” He is singing, “Rabbana” (a song for Ramazan), to say get rid of the chains that bind your legs! He is singing on Top of the Mahoors with Tazarv Hill, to find a dandelion and promise the message of the breeze of freedom. This king of the best has a crazy heart, and each time with the roar of a thunderbolt, he goes forward with the sound of a rooster, until he finally finds serenity with his longtime friend. A thousand-year-old Phoenix finds his peace in Toos.
Yes, he is the Phoenix of Iranian song. It is said that the Phoenix lives a thousand years, and when the thousand years are passed and his life is ended, he gathers a pile of firewood, sits on top of it, and begins singing. He grows withdrawn and flutters his wings. Fire falls from his wings onto the wood, and he incinerates in the pyre. But out of his ashes comes forth an egg, though he has had no mate, and with it hope for a future renewal.
Writing is no longer possible because tears have closed one’s eyes. This excruciating pain from the absence of the masters makes nothing easy or simple. We have become Iranians because we have consisted of these great people and we are proud of that. Indeed, if our Iran is emptied of these glorious men and women, and we do not try to continue their path, which is the right and correct path, what can we be proud of anymore? We must know the value and consequence of the artists of our glorious land of Iran and teach it to the children of Iran. May the soul of the master Mohammad Reza Shajarian be happy, and may his name and path be eternal.