wanderlust = n, [won-der-luhst], a strong innate desire to rove or travel about


Im Gespräch mit Alireza Mollahosseini: Inspiration durch Kunst

Nach dem Interview mit Jo Aichinger, der mir den iranischen Musiker und Philosophen Alireza Mollahosseini als weiteren Gesprächspartner nahe gelegt habe, nahm ich durch das AIR - Artist in Residence Programm in Krems tatsächlich Kontakt auf und wir fanden einen geeigneten Zeitpunkt, um uns gemütlich zu einem Gespräch zu treffen. Die Kommunikation mit dem Iraner lief über seine Frau, die für den einmonatigen Aufenthalt ihrem Ehemann als Dolmetscherin zur Seite stand. Eine durchaus schwierige Aufgabe, die sie mit Bravour meisterte. Das junge Paar, das teils in Teheran, teils in Alirezas Heimatort im südlichen Iran leben, inspirierten mich und weckten meine Geister, das mir unbekannte Land näher kennen zu lernen.

© Alireza Mollahosseini  

Zuvor hatte ich das Glück neben der iranischen Künstlerin Shirin Neshat auch Alireza Mollahosseini schon am Vorabend unseres vereinbarten Gesprächstermins ein passendes Gesicht zum Namen zu erhalten, bei der Eröffnung von "Passage". Leider hatte ich es zu seinem Auftritt bei Glatt & Verkehrt HerbstZeitlos nicht geschafft.

Das folgende Gespräch fand mit Alireza und seiner Frau Nasim statt, die als Sprachvermittlerin half. Aufgrund der Sprachbarriere möchte ich das Interview auf Englisch posten:

Thank you for meeting me here, Alireza and Nasim, I am really happy to meet such a talented musician from Iran in Krems. You are currently AIR - Artist in Residence in Krems, Austria. How do you feel about the town? What is your opinion about Krems? 

I appreciate the town of Krems and its people who warmly welcomed me in their home. Though it is not my first time in Austria. Krems seems very cultural to me and has a nice atmosphere. I really enjoyed it to meet the artist Shirin Neshat. I am very pleased to be here.

Tell me about your experience of being part of the festival "HerbstZeitlos" (Glatt & Verkehrt) in Krems. Was the audience different to what you are used to? 

The performance itself was great. Although I was not able to listen to other artists' performances this time since I played at another festival the next day and needed to travel. Concerning the music, I think especially Iranian music is connected with its instruments which are common in Iran but not here. I am connecting Iranian traditional music from the regional Southern parts of the country with contemporary music from Iran. Iranian music is deeply rooted in musical therapy as well. I also want to introduce my style to the audience because most of Austrians have never heard such music. During a workshop I experienced a very moving situation, I would like to explain: when I entered the room the students were distant, due to my foreign appearance, but when they closed their eyes and listened to my compositions for percussion, they came closer and forgot the distance. Music broke the ice! I would really like to thank Jo Aichinger for his invitation to Glatt & Verkehrt because it was the chance to introduce my music to Austrian people.

Iran is where you come from and where your education of music is deeply rooted. How would you describe your development as a musician? Which artists have influenced you. 

Firstly, I would like to say that art is not theoretical, it is knowledge of a life and therefor I have been in touch with music very early on a professional level. I am born into a family with passion for music and I gained the interest from my father and my brother but the person who supported me the most is my mother. In my opinion you can study a long time and you can be best at the technique but there is always a philosophical reason behind that - you need to be inspirited of your own music. I lived in Teheran and had to go back to my home, to my roots to find a deeper meaning of what I am doing. The most relevant step to achieve that was to be close to the Persian Golf by myself, where I was isolated with my instruments. I could feel a different meaning of life there as well. Music is for me the answer. I gained knowledge which is the source of inspiration for me and I was able to communicate with the universe. My teachers and musicians I have benefited from are for example Master Parviz Meshkatian who is an Iranian musician and composer who passed away some years ago, or Master Mohammadreza Lofti. Master Kayhan Kalhor is in my opinion one of the best livelong Iranian musicians who plays Kamancheh. We had several concerts together and he is not only my master in music but like a mentor from whom I have learned a lot. Another musician and composer I have worked with is Master Hossein Alizadeh.

"Art is an interpretation of the universe" 

Austrian and Iranian music do not seem to be connected due to their different styles, in their heritage and their way to make music. Are there any parallels? Do you think your music can be understood here, in Austria? 

Both of the countries have a long tradition and deeply rooted connection to music but in a different way. Art is a translation and an interpretation of the universe and so is music. The source is always the same but people look at it in different shades of colors. I do not look at the similarities in music, I want to come closer to see how art/music communicates and offers comprehension. I see myself as an interpreter of music and if I interpret for example Mozart, it may sound nothing like Mozart for the audience but it is MY inner, very intense interpretation of it. Music is a place to meet when different 'cultures' play together. We need to meet with respect. If there is distance between us, we need to leave culture behind: we are all human beings with the very same roots and speak a shared language: music! But I understand that each person has a certain point of view but in the end comprehension should clearly be focused. 
I would also like to point out the current political situation of Iran and its big selfishness. People are the instruments of super powers and they fight for... what are they fighting for but the super powers? If you look at one particular branch of Islam, Sufis, they follow older laws, a different spirit and music is an essential part of their belief. Sufis are usually scientific people but due to religion they are left aside and badly treated nowadays, due to their belief. I wished we had more respect of each other to prevent wars and misunderstandings. 

"We speak a shared language: music"

What do you want to achieve during your residency in Austria? 

I would like to be isolated with my instrument to focus on music. The town Krems influences me and my musical inspiration with its landscape, with River Danube, the colored hills in the back. The residency gives me the opportunity to meet with professionals in Austria and exchange knowledge. 

What do you wish for, when you have 3 wishes to the universe? 

Firstly, I would like to know why I am on earth. I think there is a reason and a task for me to do. Secondly, I want to live with people I love: my wife, my family and to make them laugh. Thirdly, I would like to make a special salon in my hometown and die there while I am playing. 

Thank you very much for you time and your inspirational points of view! 

Thank you for having me here. I would also like to thank my wife - this trip to Austria was an opportunity to come closer and Jo Aichinger who showed me Krems and its people and accepting me as an artist in residence. I would really appreciate to have more concerts here in Krems in future.

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