By Jesse Hamlin
Published 10:25 am PST, Wednesday, February 3, 2016
San Francisco composer Sahba Aminikia never heard a woman sing in public, on radio or television while growing up in Tehran in the 1980s. They were banned from doing so by Iran’s ruling mullahs after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The clerics think the solo female voice can trigger lust, says Aminikia. But he wanted to hear and share the singing of Iranian women, who can only perform in private homes, for all-female audiences or, since the reforms of the 1990s, in a background chorus.
“Now you can see women onstage in Iran, but never as the main performer,” says the 34-year-old composer.