"When Khomeini took power in Iran in 1979 he prohibited pop music altogether," Margeli says. "This is less harsh now, as they have allowed men to sing, but it has been a complete catastrophe for the Persians in general, and permanent damage has been done because the mullahs have prohibited women from recording and performing in public unless they do so in a choir. Imagine what this does to the population of a country where 50% are women, but for 30 years they have not been allowed to have a female pop star?"
Men in Iran record under heavy censorship. Kourosh now runs a private music school and studio in Tehran, but in "Back to the Brink's" liner notes, he laments his country's creative state.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Iranian pop music: An article in the Aug. 21 Arts & Books section about pre-revolutionary Iranian pop music described the santur as being an instrument like a violin. It more closely resembles a hammered dulcimer.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, August 28, 2011 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part D Page 3 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Iranian pop music: An Aug. 21 article about pre-revolutionary Iranian pop music described the santur as being an instrument like a violin. It more closely resembles a hammered dulcimer.
"Can you imagine what it is like to be accused as 'guilty' for what was, until this very recent time, considered a respectful art?" he writes, "Some of the artists, masters and musicians who stayed in the country only due to their nationalist ideologies, suffered early deaths or faced a very sad destiny: most of those that survived where deeply depressed. Even a pet bird must fly, as to not to forget how to fly."
The music made by these two artists is a poignant reminder that creativity is fueled, most of all, by freedom -- by open minds and open societies.
"One of my father's most important goals has been making the connection between Persian and international music through the modernizing the Persian music," says Kourosh's son Kaveh, a musician in Vancouver, Canada. "Releasing of 'Back From the Brink,' on a non-Iranian label, and appreciating his efforts in music after three decades, is not only important for Kourosh himself, but it is very precious for any artist who is moving forward today. There is no doubt that this gives us all this hope that the sun is not going to stay behind the clouds forever."