Sooge Sohrab (The Tragedy of Sohrab) (2014)
For Electric Guitar, Percussions and tape
Commissioned by The Living Earth Show
Premiered at Z Space, San Francisco
Video: Vafa Aminikia
February 8, 2014
"Sooge Sohrab" is part of a series of works I wrote as a response to my own arrest, interrogation and torture in the December of 2012 in my homeland, Iran. The Tragedy of Sohrab forms part of the 10th-century Persian epic, Shāhnāmeh (The Epic of Kings) by the Persian poet, Ferdowsi . It tells the tragic story of the heroes Sohrab and his father Rostam. Sohrab was murdered by his own father, Rostam in the battlefield while Rostam had no knowledge of whom he is fighting against. The piece takes advantage of pre-recorded material from Tasuā and Āshurā, an islamic ritual dedicated to mourning for the third Imam of Shias, Husayn ibn Ali, who was also murdered innocently in the midst of a power struggle amongst the Caliphs in 680 AD. The ritual involves chanting, weeping and sometimes in extremist cases, self-flagellation.
Throughout the ancient history of my homeland, Iran, millions of Sohrabs have been murdered and oppressed by their own fathers who have never realized whom they are wounding are in fact their own offsprings and compatriots. Sohrabs of my homeland have constantly been accused of treason, of being rioters and of being heretics. Sooge Sohrab is a threnody for those whose voices were never heard and for those who were silenced and for those who disappeared in night and fog.
Design: Yari Ostovany