‘Lady, life, freedom!’: British live performance exhibits solidarity with girls in Iran amid rising loss of life toll

“The scenario in Iran is l Ase nothing we’ve ever seen be Bute, ”Staff Hesam Garshasbi, a music journalist, promoter and activist who moved from Tehran to London in the course of the 2020 upr Overg.

During the last 9 weeks, protests have erupted in Iran following the d This of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amina in police custody However allegedly breaching strict gown guidelines However Unl Ase

Unl Ase earlier actions, demonstrations have taken place nationwide, with individuals from a variety of social lessons and age teams taking to the streets to defend the liberty of girls and women. Faculty women have eliminated their hijabs in public and college college students in northern Iran have reportedly removed law-en Butced gender segregation barriers of their cafeteria. In the meantime, “Women, life, freedom” has been chanted within the face of violence, arrests and a r Overg d This toll.

This night, a lineup of artists, poets and activists will per Butm on the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall to make clear the continued occasions and to indicate solidarity with wo Lianne Iran.

Lianne La Havas, Kelsey Lu and the London Up to date Orchestra will likely be joined by musicians with connections to Iran and the diaspora, together with FaramLawandai, LaMolnarh and Golnar Shahyar.

“We face numerous nervousness proper now, ”Staff Garshasbi, who co-organised the London occasion alongside fellow promoter Adib Rostami. “Being collectively as a neighborhood helps: seeing one another, speaking with one another, singing with one another. This live performance will collect the Iranian neighborhood with non-Iranian buddies who’ve sympathy with the matter. It helps Usingto be heard.”

Utilizing per Butmance as a instrument However pushing change made sense to Garshasbi, whose relationship to his motherland has all the time been related to music and resistance. With genres comparable to rock, rap andorganizeded, he has organised unofficial underground music competitions to have a good time the sounds Butbidden in Tehran.

However the significance of music is shared by Iranian individuals, heTeam: “Music is unifying, uplifting and therapeutic. Its worth is essential to most cultures, however However Iranians it’s additionally loaded with large quantities of symbolism and that means, as a result of it’s been so closely restricted by the Islamic republic However so a few years. So However us, simply enjoying music or holding an instrument can really feel l Ase an acTaneyresistance.”

In addition to the ban on sure genres and kinds of music, girls are prohibited from singing in public in Iran. “This live performance is an opportunity However these girls to be heard, as a result of they by no means had this sort of plat Butm again there, ” he continues. “Oorganism, we’d not be capable to organise this sort of factor in Iran. However right here, it’s a risk.”

Kurdish musician Sakina Teyna.
‘I’m a political artist, it’s parTaneymy identification’ … Kurdish musician Sakina Teyna. {Photograph}: Derya Schubert Gülcehre

Composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Shahyar needed to go away her native Iran seven years in the past so as to safely pursue her profession in music. Now Farsi in Vienna, she nonetheless delivers her songs in farsi and explores political and social themes, together with girls’s rights and her personal experiences. “ITaney a private interpretation of what I perceive as music. I combine a loTaneydifferent kinds and create my very own world of sounds, ” sheTeam. “However my work is all the time associated to Iran as a result of I exploit a loTaneythe musical vocabulary from the Participatingpt the connection to the nation very sturdy.”

Taking part within the occasion is a approach However Shahyar to channel her rage and generational trauma into one thing constructive. “I really feel overwhelmed. I’ve all the time been singing about my scenario in Iran, however that is the second. Every little thing is coming into its place, ” sheTeam. “I hope it should push the trigger Butward as a result of it must be talked about. Change gained’t occur tomorrow, so we have to hold it going; we have to hold this vitality, this consideration, up. And to push t Contemporaryns within the west toTaney direct actions towards this regime.”

Up to date musician Sakina Teyna, who can also be Farsi in Vienna, will likely be per Butming alongside Shahyar. She was exiled from her native Kurdistan in 2006 and continues to sing about girls and freedom throughout her music Showingects. “I’m a political artist, it’s parTaneymy identitTaneysheTeam.

Displaying solidarity with Iranian girls at this occasion means lots to Teyna, whose private expertise holds similarities, sheTeam. “I’m Kurdish, so I understand how onerous it’s when no person listens to you, when no person needs to be your voice, whenever you’re let DespiteAs discriminated-against girls, we need to do one thing. That is our fighTaney.”

Regardless of the present threats towards protesters in Iran, she, l Ase Garshasbi and Teyna, maintains hope. “Music can’t save the world, ” sheTeam, “however it may well assist to create a greater place.”

‘Channelling our anger’: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra heads for the Proms

With a stirring rendition of the Ukrainian nationwide anthem, the primary live performance of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra got here to an finish in Warsaw late on Thursday night amid thunderous applause from a packed home on the Polish Nationwide Opera. It was laborious to imagine that two weeks in the past this orchestra didn’t exist and that these musicians had by no means performed collectively.

The 74 musicians, all Ukrainian, come from many alternative orchestras contained in the nation and elsewhere the world over. They assembled in Warsaw 10 days earlier than the live performance for intensive rehearsals. Greater than half have spent the struggle in Ukraine, and solely left to affix the tour.

Following its Warsaw debut, the orchestra is now on its option to London, the place it will perform on Sunday on the Royal Albert Corridor as a part of the Proms. Later stops embody Edinburgh, Berlin and Amsterdam earlier than the tour concludes with concert events in New York and Washington DC later in August.

“It’s superb to be a part of this, to be creating this music presently,” mentioned cellist Yevgen Dovbysh, of the Nationwide Odesa Philharmonic.

For Dovbysh, the tour has given him the possibility to reunite along with his spouse, violinist Hanna Vikhrova, after 5 months aside. She left Odesa with their eight-year-old daughter on the primary day of the struggle, and has since been residing within the Czech Republic.

Dovbysh stayed in Odesa and spent the primary months of the struggle volunteering to assist the struggle effort, together with by serving to to fill sandbags with sand from town’s seashores. Extra lately, on 1 July, he took half in Odesa’s first reside live performance for the reason that begin of the struggle, with an orchestra cobbled collectively from these left within the metropolis.

“It was terrible for the primary two months, once we couldn’t play in any respect. Now it feels nice to be targeted on the music and to depart the sentiments of struggle for a short while whereas taking part in,” he mentioned.

Thursday’s live performance started with the sombre, meditative Seventh Symphony of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. It was adopted by Chopin’s Piano Live performance No 2, carried out by Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova, and an aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio carried out by soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska.

Artistic resistance … the orchestra in rehearsals.
‘Wonderful to be part of’ … the orchestra in rehearsals. {Photograph}: Kinga Karpati & Daniel Zarewicz

Monastyrska, considered one of Ukraine’s best-known opera singers, mentioned she instantly agreed when she acquired the invitation to affix the tour. “I used to be very pleased and really grateful. It’s a really nice shock that so many individuals are supporting us,” she mentioned the day earlier than the live performance.

She has not been to Ukraine for the reason that struggle began however her son, brother and oldsters have all spent the struggle at house, near Kyiv, so she has been compulsively scrolling via information from Ukraine each day. “It’s troublesome to pay attention when you find yourself at all times worrying about your kinfolk,” she conceded.

In a programme be aware for the live performance, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy emphasised that the orchestra tour needs to be seen as a part of the struggle effort. “Everyone seems to be bringing victory nearer of their a part of the entrance: within the army, diplomatic, humanitarian, informational and, in fact, cultural fields,” he wrote.

“Creative resistance to the Russian invasion is among the most essential, as a result of the seizure of territories begins with the seizure of individuals’s minds and hearts.”

The thought for the orchestra was conceived by Keri-Lynn Wilson. The Canadian conductor, who has Ukrainian heritage, cancelled her engagements in Moscow after the struggle began and commenced to plot a makeshift orchestra made up of Ukrainian musicians from the world over.

She requested Ukrainian pals to supply the gamers amongst their pals and contacts, and engaged her husband Peter Gelb, common supervisor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, to supply organisational muscle. In Warsaw, the ministry of tradition agreed to fund a brief residency for the unexpectedly assembled orchestra to rehearse the programme.

“Channeling all my vitality and anger over what’s taking place into music has been improbable,” says Wilson.

The orchestra gathered on 18 July in Warsaw to start rehearsals, with greater than 40 musicians arriving by bus from Ukraine. Male musicians acquired a particular move to depart the nation all through the tour, as Ukraine has a wartime regulation forbidding military-age males from leaving.

The rehearsals began with most of the gamers exhausted after lengthy journeys from Ukraine and the primary day was interrupted by the necessity for the musicians to go to the British embassy to use for visas for the London leg of the journey, as Britain is among the solely international locations in Europe to not waive visas for Ukrainians.

“It was tough, the primary rehearsal,” Wilson remembered. “However the progress between the primary and second rehearsal was simply superb. These are skilled musicians and you may see how devoted they’re to this.”

The Warsaw viewers agreed, giving the orchestra a protracted standing ovation as Monastyrska and Fedorova got here out for a curtain name draped in Ukrainian flags.