New Reviews: May 29, 1998

Farhad Besharati is a Persian Kanun player who fuses traditional Persian music with contemporary flair on his new album Reflections. A Kanun is an Arabic and Turkish instrument that looks very much like an autoharp, often used in Appalachian folk music, but sounds more like a cross between a mandolin and the Greek balalaika, with 78 strings and 30 notes.

Besharati has had an interesting musical journey. Originally from Tehran, where he was first exposed to the Kanun, he was forced to flee Iran after the Islamic revolution forbade him to pursue his music.

He now lives in Los Angeles after a stay in London, England, and some time in Dubai, UAE.

Reflections is Besharati's debut recording on Planet Beat International, and is all-instrumental, showcasing his virtuosity on the rare and difficult Kanun. The album features four original compositions, and each song has an ethereal, ephemeral air to them, which is at once relaxing and engaging. The songs are accompanied tastefully by piano/keyboard and percussion. The album is very exotic sounding, and will appeal greatly to fans of both World Music and New Age.