Phoenix

Cyminology

EN / DE

German-Iranian singer Cymin Samawatie and her band Cyminology continue on their unique course, allowing the subtle yet dynamic sounds and rhythms of Persian poetry to influence their compositions and improvisation. Phoenix is their third disc for ECM, like its predecessors (As Ney, 2008, and Saburi, 2010) produced by Manfred Eicher at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio. The core unit of Cymin, pianist Benedikt Jahnel, bassist Ralf Schwarz and drummer Ketan Bhati are joined, for the first time on record, by Martin Stegner, the Berlin Philharmonic violist who has been a frequent collaborator since 2011. The viola, the string instrument closest to the human voice, becomes a kind of second singer here, extending the sense of East/West dialog alive in the music. The album is dedicated to the memory of Forough Farrokhzaad, the courageous and outspoken 20th century Iranian poet. Cymin sets some of Farrokhzaad’s verse here, alongside her own lyrics, classic Sufi poetry by Hafiz, and verse of Nima Yushij, often considered the father of modern Persian poetry. Jahnel, Schwarz and Bahti contribute as co-composers on several pieces.

Die deutsch-iranische Sängerin Cymin Samawatie und ihre Band Cyminology setzen ihren unverwechselbaren Weg fort, indem sie die subtilen und doch dynamischen Klänge und Rhythmen persischer Dichtung auf ihre Kompositionen und Improvisationen einwirken lassen. Phoenix ist ihr drittes Album für ECM, wie seine Vorgänger (As Ney, 2008, und Saburi, 2010) von Manfred Eicher im Rainbow Studio in Oslo produziert. Cymins Kernband aus Pianist Benedikt Jahnel, Bassist Ralf Schwarz und Schlagzeuger Ketan Bhatti wird hier erstmals um Martin Stegner, den Bratscher der Berliner Philharmoniker, ergänzt. Die Bratsche, das Saiteninstrument das der menschlichen Stimme am nächsten ist, wird hier zu einer Art zweiter Sängerin und intensiviert damit den in dieser Musik lebendigen Ost-West-Dialog. Das Album ist dem modernen iranischen Dichter Forough Farrokhzaad gewidmet. Cymin stellt ihre Vertonungen seiner Lyrik neben eigene Texte, Verse von Nima Yuschij und klassische Sufi-Dichtung von Hafiz. Jahnel, Schwarz und Bhatti haben als Co-Komponisten zu einigen Stücken beigetragen.
Featured Artists Recorded

March 2014, Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Original Release Date

20.02.2015

  • 1Aaftaab
    (Forough Farrokhzaad, Benedikt Jahnel, Cymin Samawatie)
    06:37
  • 2Che Gune Ast
    (Cymin Samawatie)
    05:02
  • 3Baraaye Ranj
    (Cymin Samawatie)
    03:57
  • 4Gozaraan
    (Forough Farrokhzaad, Cymin Samawatie, Ketan Bhatti)
    07:53
  • 5Harire Buse
    (Forough Farrokhzaad, Cymin Samawatie, Ralf Schwarz)
    04:35
  • 6Talaash Makon
    (Cymin Samawatie, Benedikt Jahnel)
    04:24
  • 7Dishab
    (Hafez, Cymin Samawatie)
    05:04
  • 8Phoenix Part 1
    (Nima Yushij, Cymin Samawatie)
    02:59
  • 9Phoenix Part 2
    (Nima Yushij, Cymin Samawatie)
    04:35
  • 10Baraaye To
    (Forough Farrokhzaad, Cymin Samawatie)
    04:08
On their third album for ECM, German-Iranian singer Cymin Samawatie and her Berlin-based band Cyminology continue on their unique course, allowing the subtle melodies and rhythms of Persian poetry to influence their compositions and improvisation. The quality that JazzTimes has termed the “self-defining poetic logic” of their music is also informed by the players’ diverse cultural backgrounds and by experiences spanning a range of idioms. The core unit of Cymin, pianist Benedikt Jahnel, bassist Ralf Schwarz and drummer Ketan Bhatti is now joined, for the first time on record, by Martin Stegner, the violist who has been a frequent collaborator since 2011.  The viola, the string instrument perhaps closest to the human voice, becomes a kind of second singer here, extending the sense of cultural dialogue in the music.    

The album is dedicated to the memory of Forough Farrokhzaad (1935-1967), the outspoken Iranian modernist poet and film director, whose cry for personal freedom Cymin has celebrated also on the 2008 recording As Ney.  Samawatie returns to Farrokhzaad’s troubled love poems here, alongside her own lyrics, classic Sufi poetry by Hafiz (c. 1325-1390), and verse of Nima Yushij (1896-1960), who is often considered the father of contemporary Persian poetry.  Most of the music here is Samawatie’s, with Benedikt Jahnel, Ralf Schwarz and Ketan Bhatti contributing as co-composers on a few pieces.  

The album’s title derives from a poem by Yushij in which the Phoenix “collects lost lamentations /From ripped threads, hundreds of voices from the distance/In the clouds, like a dark line on the mountain/He builds up a dream castle.”  As Cymin told intercultural web portal qantara.de recently: "The image of the mystical bird that burns up and from whose ashes new things arise – that fits well with Cyminology. We are always searching for something new, something beautiful, and that means sometimes taking leave of things that have become dear to us."

Phoenix, like its predecessors (As Ney and Saburi) was produced by Manfred Eicher at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio.