Chant of Drums
Catalog no. QuarterTone Productions QTCD-1004


Performance by The Kamkars

Daf by Bijan Kamkar
Do-table by Pashang Kamkar
Tombak, Zarbe-Zoorkhane by Arzhang Kamkar
Barbat, Violin, Viola by Arsalan Kamkar
Dohol, Damam, Viola by Ardeshir Kamkar
Santur by Ardavan Kamkar
Tas by Hooshang Kamkar

Recording Engineer: Iraj Fahimi
Recorded at Bell Studio, Spring 1999

Cover Design by Houman Mortazavi

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The Kamkars - Chant of Drums


Chant of Drums is a composition for percussion instruments of Iran based on the rhythms and melodies heard in the spiritual religious ceremonies of Zekr (a ritualistic dance performed by the dervishes during devotional ceremonies) and Samâ (the state of self-abandonment reached through listening ,whereby the dervish becomes one with the world). These rituals are performed in the Khânghâh (place of spiritual gathering) of the province of Kurdistan, as well as in religious mourning ceremonies in the city of Booshehr. This work includes various rhythmical figures and it has a special polyrhythmical form composed of the various rhythms found in the aforementioned ceremonies and regions.

The form of call and response between groups of instruments and solo instruments, and the utilization of pitched instruments solely for maintaining the rhythm on the two notes F and C are among the unique features of this work. In certain cases, as a reminder of a particular spiritual space or mood, the melodic nature of the instruments has been used in light motifs. Using techniques of counterpoint and orchestration, Chant of Drums is composed for percussion instruments and spiritual melodies without lyrics. The unintelligible voices, which are often unconsciously uttered by the dervishes at climactic points during spiritual gatherings, have been used for rhythmic emphasis as well as further stressing the states of trance. This composition is comprised of seven parts. It has an episodic form, and at the same time the repetition of a variance of the first part at the end of the seventh, renders it a cyclical form.