Kamyar Arsani is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Kamyar's musical mission is to spread cultural awareness and unity by mixing contemporary musical trends with traditional Persian folk music. At age 7, Kamyar began daf (Persian frame drum) lessons with Master Bijan Kamkar. Kamyar also spent time playing meditative rhythms for hours at a time for Sufis. Kamyar has spent over 20 years performing and researching the daf and its roots. His second choice of instrument was the kamancheh (Persian string bow instrument) and he studied it with Masters Ardeshir Kamkar and Sohrab Pournazeri. Kamyar has also taught himself how to play other instruments including guitar, a variety of percussion instruments, melodica, ukulele and more.
Kamyar's songs and performances are very much inspired by the people of Iran and their history of struggle and protest. He produced his first solo album in 2015, entitled "No Freedom." The album was dedicated to those oppressed by societies all around the world. Kamyar also plays in two other collaborations: "Huda & Kamyar," a Palestinian oud player and an Irani Daf player meet in Washington DC. A mystical journey and an exploration of region's rich musical repertoire begins. The duo delves into the universe of Mashriq rhythms to create a transcending musical dialogue, influenced by the zaar, sufi thikr and more. Kamyar also plays in "Time is Fire," a weird world/post-punk band.
Kamyar is also the poet and singer of "Time is Fire (TiF)." Their music has been described by Washington Post as "Music from a country that does not exist." Kamyar takes on a different character performing with Time is Fire, wearing his sikke (a Sufi hat representing the "tombstone of Ego") and singing poems of resistance and freedom in English and Farsi. Within the four member band's worldly, funky, post-punky, afro-infected music, the sikke and poems make perfect sense. Their sound has been evolving since the group first came together in 2015
Now Kamyar Arsani is working on "Voices in the Dark,' a poetic testament to the journey we are all on, facing our fears and empowering ourselves to become free.
"Voices in the dark" is a Daf and Avaz album, backed by electronic ambiance. Ben and I created this combination of electronic ambiance and Sufi inspired Daf playing for I always dreamed that one day music of my roots, and sounds of my daily experiences, can come together and dance, but with a respectful space in between. I had to close my eyes and be patient, I had to empower myself to believe in the sounds in my head, and filter out the fear. I sing a Rumi poem that says " All you pilgrims where are you? Beloved is here turn back around Your lover has been by your side Now wondering in the desert, where have you gone?" I want you all to listen to it and feel empowered. I want you to dance with your joys and sorrows and push thru boundaries of time and space. I also want the world to hear Iranian music and forget all the political tensions. I want people around the globe to hear Daf and dance "Voices in the dark" is first of many albums to come. It is the first product of 10 years researching and performing. It was mastered and produced after four sessions of recording and mixing at what we call The Beehive in Washington D.C. In my world, its nothing short of miracle. it was going to sound different, I'll leave at that. But I need your help to tell you more. After all, what is this fuss about if there is no album to chat over? Help me raise funds to make CD's, Vinyls with lyrics sheets, and make a music video that can be bridge between both American and Iranian cultures, so we can bring the community together and converse about Iran, America, power of people and facing the fears other have implanted in us.
"When soul is pushed to the corner of time, dancing becomes more than a form, becomes a spirit. In the strangest of ways, you lose your fear when you dance with Voices in the Dark."
We all know generating money for art projects is hard. We have worked so hard on crafting this album and now we area ready to spread the message that we are all one on this journey! It would be aaste to start the album and not be able to release it in time. That is why we need your help in supporting the album not just because you love Kamyar but because the world needs to hear this album of love, unity and DAF!
What happens if we don't reach our goal? If we miss our goal by just one dollar we don't get to keep any of the donations! In this case you won't be charged for your donation. This means we won't be able to record the album. Please help us make this dream a reality for everyone! We love you all very much and thank you for the support!
Risks and challenges: This album is very important for Kamyar and everyone else involved in creating the album. We will be working hard to finish the album in a very timely manner. We are confident that with the funds received through this campaign and through the support of everyone we will create a wonderful album that you will love. While we are confident that the album will finish in time, life is full of surprises and is unpredictable. We will make sure to solve any problem that may arise.
Risks and challenges
There is no stopping this project we assure you that.
It has been mixed, mastered and ready to be published online, which means almost nothing, because unless there are videos, concerts and physical copies, the music will get lost in the wind.
Therefore, Dates are announced for album release (digitally) August 17th via Blight Records and single which is a Fugazi cover (Ex Spectator) will be dropped August 3rd
With your help in meeting our goal:
1- We can make CD's, hopefully Vinyls!
2- Pin down a date and venue for album release concert
3- Make music video and get on the road to spread the words of Daf and Sufi inspired chants and zhikrs
Are you in?
- (60 days)