Mohsen Namjoo & Ensemble – 13/8 Tour
Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in California. Born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, Iran, Namjoo began his musical training at the age of twelve, studying under Nasrollah Nasehpoor until the age of eighteen. In 1994 Namjoo began to study Theater and Music at the University of Tehran, where he was trained under Alireza Mashayekhi, Azin Movahed and other masters. Namjoo also studied Iranian folk music under Haj Ghorbane Soleimani. His unique music style resembles a patchwork of Persian classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi or Saadi with western music, namely rock, blues, and jazz.
Among Iranian musicians, irregular rhythms are referred to as “limping rhythms.” Mainly characterized by structural imbalance, the 13/8 time signature is among the most difficult of the limping rhythms in the music of the region. In the limping form, there is always a beat missing, or a beat extra. The limping style does not possess the symmetric structure of the dance music which elicits so much pleasure in dancers at wedding parties or in certain kinds of nightclubs. For me, this lack of balance or limping always symbolizes the constant instability of modern day
life; a lack of confidence in there being solid ground beneath our feet when we step out in our daily lives. The limping structure symbolizes falling out of step with the rhythm of everyday living, and the ever present fear of being thrown out of the disco of life — just for dancing with a limp! –