Kish Island to host intl. neyanban festival in March 

February 14, 2021 - 18:48

TEHRAN – Kish Island on the Persian Gulf will be hosting an international neyanban festival to promote the Persian instrument, which is most common in southern Iran.

The festival will be running from March 10 to 12, the organizers announced in a press release on Sunday.

The instrument, which is a kind of bagpipe, enjoys a high tourism attraction, helping to encourage interested musicians to make a journey to the island.

This old instrument, which has been inscribed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2015, is mostly played in the provinces of Bushehr, Khuzestan, Kerman and Hormozgan, while the festival will help introduce this instrument in the international arena as well.

The organizers have corresponded with the embassies of Greece, Algeria, Germany, Tunisia, Turkey, France, Armenia, Austria, Spain, India and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, inviting their musicians to attend the festival. 

Introducing this instrument to the fans of the regional music as a cultural identity of the country, attracting more tourists to the island and encouraging the youth to learn neyanban are among other goals of the festival.

Mohsen Sharifian, the leader of the Lian ensemble from the southern Iranian city of Bushehr, who is a skillful player of the neyanban, introduced an electronic version of the neyanban named “Lianic” in January. The instrument takes its name from his band’s name, Lian.

“Due to the sanctions that make access to similar foreign instruments difficult, we decided to design and make an Iranian electronic neyanban,” Sharifian had said.

“Lianic is a localized instrument similar to what is used in Europe by musicians and learners during their rehearsals,” he added.

He said that the lianic is an appropriate instrument for finger exercises and learning rhythms and melodies, and doesn’t require tuning.

The album “Music of Kish Island” featuring the folk music of Kish Island in the Persian Gulf was released in early January.

The collection contains 19 tracks recorded and performed based on extensive research by Sharifian.

He performed at the William Kennedy Piping Festival in the Irish town of Armagh in November 2019.

His group also gave a concert in the Indian city of Mumbai during an Iranian festival presenting art and cultural performances from the southern Iranian city of Bushehr under the title “From Bushehr to Mumbai”.

Photo: Neyanban virtuoso Mohsen Sharifian gives a performance with his band Lian on July 10, 2019. (Mehr/Masud Saki)


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