Rooz O Shab is Reza Derakshani's recent CD which was released in the US showcasing Rumi poetry recited by Katayoun Goudarzi. The tune was played in more than 500 radio stations and gave us an opportune time to interview Reza Derakhshani.
Reza Derakhshani was born and raised in Sangsar a mountainous village in Iran whose admirable beauty of nature is still present in Reza's paintings. As a prodigy of art he started painting at 8 and won numerous national art competitions. Taking the adventure to Europe, Reza eventually settled and adopted the city of New York for almost two decades.
Ostad Reza is a painter, performer and master of classical Persian music. His innovations continually weave the notes of the East with the West. His paintings are regularly featured in galleries and private collections worldwide. He has been pursuing many diverse art forms such as: graphic design, book illustration, film animation and calligraphy.
Reza has also collaborated with world renowned artists such as: John Densmore of The Doors, Branford Marsalis, Robert Bly, Coleman Barks, Bill T. Jones, Deepak Chopra, David Darling, Steve Shehan, Carlitos Del Poerto, Denis Hamm and Dawn Avery.
Enjoy my interview with Ostad Reza Derakhshani:
Milad Molavi: Who is Reza Derakhsahani?
Reza Derakhshani: A nomad, dangerously in love with creativity.
MM: Where do you live now, and why you are there?
RD: I am based in Tehran for the time being but travel to The US and Europe very often. It's both challenging and inspiring.
MM: Why did you move to the US?
RD: Artistic adventure was one of the stronger reasons.
MM: What does it take to become a painter, musician and performer?
RD: A lot of hard work which gives satisfaction and beauty to a wondering soul. One could try many different things in life but what's important is to do it well and that requires Talent, courage, intense life style and full time involvement with every aspect of what you do.
MM: Many believe in specialization, but you are pursuing many diverse art forms such as: music, painting, graphic design, book illustration, film animation and calligraphy, what is your reason for that?
RD: Some creatures don't get happy with one achievement in life. I enjoy every little success but always looking for more. As an example, after when I started playing instruments, people thought I could become a very respected Tar player but that to me was just one step forward not the goal, even if it could have been a safer place in life. I really believe that it has something to do with the level of creativity and talent in people. There has to be a different kind of drive behind the genes of someone like Leonardo Da Vinci.
MM: You are also composing music for films; for example music for 'Season of Madness' by Oscar nominee Katja Esson, tell us something about this experience.
RD: Not very different. We connected well from the beginning and that always helps, especially if you have to do it long distance. I worked in Tehran and she had picked what she liked because she also knew what she wanted.
MM: How was working with Persian film maker Bahman Kiarostami by composing music for his films: 'Two Bows' and 'Koffar'?