5 February 2020

The Traditional Music of Khorasan – a concert by Abdullah Abadi

Abdullah Abadi, The Traditional Music of Khorasan. The Iranian dotar is a new addition to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

When: 14 February 2020
18.00 – a meeting with Mieczysław Litwiński
19.00 – Abdullah Abadi’s concert
Where: Workshops of Culture, Grodzka 5a – auditorium, 2nd floor
Free admission

Abdullah Abadi is the son of the famous dotar master – Abadi of Khorasan. Abdullah Abadi is the last musician in Khorasan specialising in this type of traditional music. He graduated from the University of Mashchad in performing arts with a specialization in pantomime. Abdullah Abadi us a poet, musician and singer. He composes his own songs using poems by Rumi, Ferdousi and his own as lyrics.

The dotar is a traditional lute found in Iran and Central Asia. It has two strings and has a pear-shaped resonating body and a long neck. Its name comes from the Persian word for “two strings”, دوتار do tār (< دو do “two”,تار tār “string”) When played, the strings are usually plucked by the Uyghurs of Western China and strummed and plucked by the Tajiks, Turkmen and Uzbeks. The Dutar is also an important instrument among the Kurds of Khorasan and the one who plays the dotar is known as a bakci (bakhshi) while the music is called Khorasan bakhshi music. It has been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The dotar has a warm, dulcet tone. The typical sizes for the pear-shaped instrument range from one to two metres. The beginnings of the dotar date back to the 15th century. The dotar was a shepherd’s instrument and its strings were made from gut. However, with the opening up of the Silk Road, catgut gave way to strings made from twisted silk imported from China. To this day some instruments still feature silk strings, although nylon strings are also commonly used.

Iranian Dotar registered ib the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Before the concert, Mieczysław Litwiński will talk about the musical and singing traditions from Iran, discuss the poetry of Rumi – an eminent Sufi poet, mystic and the founder of the Order of Whirling Dervishes.

Mieczysław Litwiński studied composition at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw., learning from Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz and Zbigniew Rudziński. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, pedagogue. An artist whose incredible achievements are appreciated both at home and abroad. Litwiński composes songs, chamber music, writes music for ballet, modern dance, theatre and film, creates performances and concerts. Litwiński’s musical and cultural interests are vast and encompass a great range of the musical heritage of many cultures and historical epochs. As singer and multi-instrumentalist, through his journeys and live contacts with musicians, he constantly learns and practices musical traditions of Poland, Lithuania and the Orient, including Iran.

He has performed among others in Carnegie Hall (New York), Foro Traiano in Rome, Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art, M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art in Kaunas, the National Museum and Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw). He has lectured at New York University, The New School, New York Open Centre, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, University of Warsaw. He runs vocal and instrument playing workshops.  More about him here.

Organisers: Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Workshops of Culture in Lublin.