Richard Moody & Amir Amiri (Adrian Stoness)
You have never heard anything like this in Winnipeg before! There is virtuosity, beauty, a feel of something like chamber music and also a sense of spirituality.
—Winnipeg musician Richard Moody
Violist and composer Richard Moody is well known to Winnipeg music fans. His work with the Wailin' Jennys, his sister Ruth Moody, Woody Holler and his own solo projects have established Richard as a local musical treasure.
One of his other musical situations is called the Tehran Project with Iranian born santur virtuoso Amir Amiri. Their collaboration is a meeting of cultures and styles and has caught the attention of music fans. Friday night, Mar. 23, Richard and Amir along with bassist Luke Sellick are bringing the Tehran Project to the stage of the Winnipeg Folk Festival's Folk Exchange.
We asked Richard a few questions about his role in the project.
What have you learned from Amir by working with him?
Don't rent a economy car. Amir stands six foot four or thereabouts.
Where do you two find the common ground?
I think we both have a kind of classical approach - a very disciplined, "committed to practice" type of playing, but we also share a mutual love of improvisation and going out on a wild crazy limb.
What have you learned about Persia/Iran that you didn't know before?
The Iranian new year is today on the spring equinox....I have developed the first hint of an ear for the microtonal nature of Persian music, which I find strangely appealing and disturbing at the same time. In reality though, Amir's musical roots are Iranian, but he draws from many different styles and traditions.
Is there anything different about your approach to improvisation when working with Amir?
A lot of the music stays in one key and doesn't modulate very far, which actually creates a nice limitation to improvise within. This is also the first time that I have had a chance to play with the little bit of eastern-style violin that I picked up while in India.
For people who've never heard the music before, what would you say to get them to come and listen?
You have never heard anything like this in Winnipeg before! There is virtuosity, beauty, a feel of something like chamber music, and also a sense of spirituality. And we both play our instruments unlike anybody else.
Amir Amiri and Richard Moody will be joined by bassist Luke Sellick for this concert and it's being recorded by CBC for future broadcast on CBC Radio Two's Canada Live and other shows.
Listen to some of the music featuring Amir Amiri and Richard Moody.