Amir Farid plays Javad Maroufi
Javād Maroufi was one of the first composers of piano music in Persia and celebrated for his contribution to Persian classical music. He was born in Tehran to musician parents Musa Maroufi and Ezra Maroufi – both pupils of renowned master, Darvish Khan. Javad’s mother died when he was young, so he was raised by his father and taught violin and tar from a young age.
Amir Farid says this about the music of Maroufi: "Ever since the release of Veiled Virtuosity, my first solo album on the Move Records label, it has been apparent that the inclusion of two of Javad Maroufi’s works for piano on that album proved to be popular amongst listeners.
"It was when my good friend Richard Mitchell approached me with the idea to devote an entire album to Maroufi’s output that this project came to life. Working on this project has made me realise how engrained Maroufi’s work has been in my own life, and within Persian (Iranian) culture in general.
"Several of his works were amongst the first I ever performed in public as a child, and his recordings would constantly be playing in the household. Being exposed to the sounds of Maroufi throughout my life has made this project both a joy and an immense challenge. After years of intense training as a Classical pianist, it has been difficult to realise the authentic folk-like roots of Maroufi’s work without the interference of other influences. Although the Western influences on Maroufi’s music are apparent and obvious, especially the works of Chopin, it is the fusion with traditional Persian music that truly makes this pioneering composer’s work unique.
"I must add that although a lot of his music is indeed notated and published, they only serve as a very rough guide to the final product heard in Maroufi’s playing, and arguably in any successful performance of his work. The improvisatory and freestyle aspect is an essential part of his music, and the challenge here lies in going beyond what’s on the page, while never drifting too far to make the work unidentifiable. Right-hand tremolos, heard frequently throughout this album, imitate the Santur, a Persian dulcimer. This technique (not without its RSI-related challenges!) is engrained in Maroufi’s playing style, as is his gifted ability to freely improvise in a style similar to that heard in a traditional Persian ensemble. My aim has been to replicate this style as authentically as possible, but not without my own insights and influences. I hope this album brings as much pleasure to you as a listener as it did to me during its creation."