Quarter Tone / Kereshmeh
Born in Khorassan, Iran, Sima Bina was something of a child prodigy, with
her own national radio program as a teen and a flourishing recording and
performance career after she graduated from Teheran University's fine arts
program in 1969.
Nava'i is a collection of Persian folk songs, primarily from the Khorassan region. She collected most of these over the last two decades, saving them from obscurity or total loss. They were recorded live in Vienna in 1995, with a small ensemble of dotars (a two stringed instrument played with a plectrum) and percussion. While her delivery of the songs is not completely traditional, it is a potent approach, and it gives her music a stark simplicity that frames her voice well. Lovers of Appalachian folk tradition will find a common ground in both the strumming of the string instruments and in the personal ornamentation of the singing. Sima Bina is a singer of strength and beauty, a trained classical singer who can keep it clean and reach for emotional highs in the simplest of phrases.
Once again the folks at Kereshmeh find a wonderful and important Persian artist to introduce to the rest of the world. - CF