About “ EAL” Persian Folkloric- traditional  music ensemble

“EAL” in Persian, is defined as  “ Accompaniment ”  and “ Tribe”;  and the rational reason to choose this fame for our group is the inspirations from variety of  Iranian ethnicities  in our pieces and performances.

“EAL” is established by the composer of this group, Sadegh Cheraghi, in 2002, with accompaniment of professional and educated Folk- traditional musicians.

This music ensemble has achieved prosperous experiences in live stage performances in Iran and different International festivals in countries such as  Austria (2012),Czech (2012), France (2012 & 2010), Ukraine (2011),Turkey(2011), Brazil(2010), Switzerland (2009), Bahrain & Kuwait(2008), Film music and a number of musical publications. (  see Activities and Audio samples)

“EAL” is a representative for Persian Folkloric and Traditional Music. (see EAL magazine)

Both the Traditional and Folkloric instruments are used in orchestration. (see Instroument), rarely used instruments are also portrayed,  which has caused EAL music to become amazingly unique and identical in timbre. ( see Audio samples). Also numerous performances accompanied by symphonic orchestral Instruments are indicated in our website.

An Introduction to Eal Group

Iranian music, like other eastern countries, has gained many experiences confronting Modernity. An example is the effort to perform the music polyphonically. This tenet has made many musicians and researchers explore and experience different way to do so. Some believe that transferring the senses existing in the Iranian music is possible by the performances of Symphony Orchestra. Iran and all the eastern countries have experienced such performances of the European musics; even some educated persons who learned music in European countries have led many times the themes and musics of Europe by their Symphony Orchestras. Some other persons try to match and use traditional instruments and symphony instruments together to attain a new musical structure. There are many examples of the eastern countries which examined this approach. Among these researchers, some believe that no western instrument can transfer the soul and senses of eastern music, except the native traditional instrument which have their origin from the geographical and cultural roots.
First of all there had to bring some changes in the shape and sound of the traditional instruments to have the ability to match with the western instruments in orchestras. Some efforts had been done by some masters like Ali Naghi Vaziri, Faramarz Payvar, and Hossein Alizade, which had to be followed. Therefore, instrument workshops under the supervision of great masters along with the group constitution, has been the agenda of Eal music group, and to the present time these workshops have reconstructed and reformed instruments like Sorna,Donali,Dozale,Karna,Naghare,Chang,Kasoreh , Balaban ,Dotar , Tanbour and Rabab to be useful in music groups.
Eal music group believes that to show the music soul of a culture like Iran, there should be a cohesive sound organization which is based on the orchestra instruments of that culture. This group with the cooperation of its members follows this goal from 1995.

Experience and Approach
A prelude to Modernity and the experience of music in Iran

Along today's developments in western orchestral music and its various tendencies, other genres and approaches have also been entered in the contemporary music. Polyphony making of native musical instruments and improvising the music of ancient regions or nations, still drag many fans and music lovers to themselves and like crazy lovers can make their audience rejoice with the most trivial musical instruments. Perhaps by posing some questions, one can realize the reasons of these various tendencies in the music arena and then contemplates on its current status.
How did these musicians join the contemporary music and how far they went through? Could the music of different nationalities and tribes and generally speaking, common group playing of nations' music reach acceptable aesthetic values along with great symphonic orchestras? How was a matter as "composing music" formed and how far did it go? Let's put it in another way; how could symphonic music ,with its unique authority, accept that some armature music players with out of date musical instruments ,stand beside very modern musical instruments enjoying extraordinary engineering structure and chic ,modern musicians ?how come that the Europe which regarded other civilizations back warded and uncultured ,now allocated their prestigious music halls for the performance of native group players and improvisation? Minstrels who walk on the stage and whistle and sometimes, depending of the performance, leave the stage and come back again and times with unconventional out fit start to practice their rituals while playing and every now and then they lose control and display their mental states .For comprehending a part and ground of hidden policies behind allThese events, we should return to modernity and its crises and examine its mafia power regardless of its achievements.
The achievement of modernity is the rational life of human being; his great leader is wisdom in this period, so everything should be logical. There is famous quotation by Hegel (Awell -known philosopher in modernity) which say," What is rational, is real and what is real is rational) (1). Hence, dispelling was started and the mathematical order cast its shadow over all the activity and structure of European like humans. Musical instruments were all free of extra sounds and like images, came close to the vividness and its objective integrity. The rules of plying were all organized and mathematically it turned the music parts to written symbols. Through all the rules and instructions, "Music Science" was born and "Art" came to join other sciences of the time. Europe was considered as the cradle of civilization and humiliating look on the nations and tribes started to form and strengthen .The European human who regarded himself as the constructor of human culture , called every place that he set his foot on," New Land" and "Novel world". In his point of view, the history of any part of the world would start when it becomes European.(2)Therefore the musical rules and instructions and even the way of listening to it were dictated to the other regions in order for them to acquire culture under the shadow of European knowledge.
In the mean time they accepted many interested from all over the world and then taught them the basics of classical music to make them civilized. All the historical scorn, humiliation and world ignorance, dragged all the musical instruments and sounds of other nations to the museums. Local and native music players, even in the cultural realm of that time, were considered nothing but strollers and all the sounds were suffocated in themselves and the memory of the nations was totally wiped out and no traces remained in the memories or any memoirs.
Rationalization of modern life entailed the creation of music science and notes of music language. Though for comprehending and reception of that we had to get unified, we all heard the same thing and played like each other, certainly the criteria for the music was what came from Europe. The aspiration of unifying is one of the first forms of philosophical and theoretical _expression of Europeanism. (3)
Hitler was born from the authority and the dominance of rational life of Europe .He was superior. Germany experienced the zero year, the world was set in fire and the spread of fascism resulted in more deaths than Hiroshima atomic bomb. Many musicians have lost their lives in different parts of the world. They not only lost their history but buried all the verbal history of their tribal memory. In the calendar of dead people of the century, except the history of "Dakhao", we should remind ourselves of the long silence of nations and cultures .They all passed away without anyone hear their voices. Then, the two world wars happened and turned the 20th century ,the century of disaster .IT was when the Europeans had promised the prosperity of human beings ,so they failed and the grave social inequalities demonstrated itself more then the past.
But gradually, in the second half of the 20th century those who were against the prisons and also those who had lost a loved ones ,started to protest and the humans came across modernity crises .Niche was amongst the first philosophers who in the early century ,severely criticized the modern life of Europe. From then on the criticism of modernity came to the center stage. Again, the relativity in beliefs, paved the ground for the existence of sounds, languages and the kind of behaviors for different nations and with manifestation of modernity crises, there were ancient sounds. The pity of this awakening lasted a century and many have lost their lives during this time.
We shouldn't forget that criticizing the modernity doesn't mean forgetting its achievements .We must also pinpoint its results too. The most significant form is struggling with any belief which wants to make itself absolute dominance. In the field of music ,all the rules and the regulations which have made the writing and analysis of the music easier and also all the instructions which have prepared the ground for studying and writing, all in all are among its achievements.
Generally speaking we should have in mind that criticizing something doesn't mean its absolute denial, because it was exactly during this classical and enlightenment period that long lasting music masterpieces were composed. Particularly symphony, which is the biggest gift of the classical period for orchestral music.(4)
On the other hand, no one can ignore the glamour of Beethoven's 9th symphony. So modernity is a current situation and still exists. What we call post-modernism, is nothing more than comprehending the modernity and it don't mean the end of modernity and the historic start of another period. Nowadays we can freely criticize the modern life while we are in it .In other words the contemporary life is always passing by with doubt and hesitation. The dubious approach of contemporary men made the values relative. Life has turned to be a fake in a way not distinguishable with its original version. That's where all these cultural elements are dragged into art work. On such a ground all the incongruities are put beside each other and as quoted by Daryosh Shayegan, "The contemporary 40-patch life has begun, so it is not strange to see the polyphony of the Sitar with the Guitar or saxophone ..!" (5)
With all this, in the field of criticizing the modern life, the opportunity of self-_expression has been provided for the nations. From the second half of the 20th century, in all over the world, people went to see the music performance of nations .There are books about the history of the musical instruments and the regions' songs .Festivals have granted rewards to the local musicians. And some festivals have been held in different parts of the world. Titles were given to the musicians .As Shamirza Moradi, our late Lorestani Sourna player (his memory will always be alive for us) was given the title of "Pearl of Ocean".
Iran and Central Asian Countries like other countries on the peripheral of modern life were introduced by "Termeh (cashmere like) and Gabbeh".
Now we should pose this question that in group work, with all our music values and potentials, could we bridge the historic gap? Is this praise a reply to that long historic silence? Shouldn't we look at this high praise dubiously? Aren't these awards other forms of humiliation which regard us as Bedouin islands?
That's where we criticize this cultural narcissism which regards the peripheral countries as historical museums. We brought some facilities and equipment together and apply them on the basis of the kind of programme we have. Also we drag some local players with us to far overseas and happy with holding a medal return to our country or start playing with not tuned musical instruments in non-standard Halls. This is the real picture of a country in which the generations try to bridge the gaps by their efforts. University students and all who are seeing the events from within, would never boast of the borrowed clothes and mythologizing which wants everything changed over a night, and with all the hardship on the way ahead and while entangled in the historic destiny, by taking small steps, they look at the faith .We never forget that all these fake identities would cause long stagnations and stops in the culture. Weren't the same compliments and attraction making of the east by the west and foreign tourists which kept us busy for a long time? It was exactly in the modernity era that The East was so strange and peculiar for those orientalists who studied the East. They badly indulged us in substantial compliments which resulted in drawing imaginary geography vis-?is the west which pretended clearness. Edvard Saeed in his book entitled," Orient logy" wrote about the west's compliments of the east, and has analyzed how these compliments and praises rooted in Mafi's power and also how the term of orientalism has been formed in the west and what the objectives were.(6)
We should accept that we have taken the fist steps in reconstructing our music. Therefore we take an in-depth look at the experience of Iran's music in modernity period in brief.
Iranian music, like other eastern countries vis-?is modernity, has had various experiences .We briefly pinpoint a series of moves which has tried to experience different approaches in music on the basis of Iranian insight.
Some, in search of Iranian musical atmosphere, have played their tribe's motives again and again by the combination of the musical instruments and orchestrate symphonic style, and could compose some pieces of music with that feeling. The most glamorous samples of these approaches were the masterpieces which have remained from former Soviet Union and Armenia. Musicians like Aram Khachatorian, Fekrat Amirov and Loris Cheknavaryan ?.could institutionalize this approach with their tribal thoughts and with honor and authority, reach them to all over the world. But after the lapse of half a century from such experiences in Iran, We could never surprise the world in the ability of playing orchestral symphonic. The second approach was the trend which started from Iranian music and lead to common group playing. The efforts of this group followed the tradition of improvisation and Iranian musical division .The musical instruments which at least were introduced as party orchestrate and then were called National orchestrate, were placed in a combination more different from the past .But it is almost two decades that this method of performance has remained repetitive and there has been no change in phone structure of it. The third group which can be categorized as mixed music, has tried to combine the national-native structure of musical instruments with orchestrate symphonic. Simple use of folklore culture and direct application of them in orchestrate, was the easiest way of adjusting them for a modern musical experience. This patch making had long been started. Peter Gabriel directly used Balaban Gasparein and combined the eastern sounds with orchestral atmosphere. At the same time this experience was carried out in many parts of the world; in a way that this method has been turned to a common way for the students who pass the first year and have the past archives at hand. This trend of combining music went on to the extent that gradually it became an extreme tendency of pop music and other then creating common motivations , opened no new way.
Other group of Iranian music still holds the old tradition of narrating and is safeguarding the ancient narrations of Iran's culture. Improvisation and preserving their historical origins make them closer to the past rather than present. In Iranian traditional music and song singing, we see the names of great musicians who are the heirs to the predecessors' heritage.
But along music creativities, there is another approach going in parallel with these developments. This approach is growing and that's orchestrating the national-local musical instruments; developments which blew a new soul to the musical trend in Iran. Choiring and symphonies and using various cultural-Geographic musical instruments, has spread the common installation of music to a peculiar arena, which was totally unprecedented in Iran. More than anything else, Iranian music needed a constant mind. Unfortunately all the motivations didn't lead to a special method. All the tendencies remained like failed experiences and never were perused seriously. In this regard (training the players and music artists for playing local musical instruments and expanding their new capabilities while preserving the actual kind of their sounds), important steps have been taken in Iran. The experiences which lead the countries like china, Japan ,India and even some newly independent states of Russia to obtain various sound structures. They could reach a coherent ,harmonious sound system.
This attempt (Exploring the capabilities of national musical instruments and workshop operation on them, unconventional use of the instruments in a group, preparation of the players for performance and also writing the pieces of music which is not common in music division) is in continuation of reforming trend of the instruments and orchestral combination of them. The attempts which started with Ali Naghi Vaziri, Faramarz Payvar (who tried hard for that) and then the works of Hossein Alizadeh and Mohammad Reza Darvishi paved the way for that. (7)
The music of Eil group should be heard in continuation of such experiences; the ones which have been started and sometimes were left out. I suppose constant thinking and accomplishing an experience takes the works out of mere happening and drags it to a view, a vacuum that mainly exists in Iranian contemporary music.

Mohammad Parvizi
Aug.2005

1- Modernity and criticizing mind- Babak Ahmadi ,second edition 1995

2- The crux of Modernity ?Babak Ahmadi

3- The predecessors (The crux of Modernity

4- Comprehending and understanding of Music-Roger Kimyen- Translation: Hossein Yasini-4th edition 2004

5- See the book entitled , New Dispelling ( 40-patch identity and mobile mind) Daryoush Shayegan/Fatemeh Valyani-Tehran 2001

6- See the book, "Orientalogy" ( Edvard Saeed )-Translation: Dr. Abdolraheem Gavahi/Tehran 2nd edition -1998

7- The sociology and analyzing the works which were effective in this way doesn?t contain in this article, as there are other works which have pushed in advancement of such approach.