music releases

A Transcendental Tribute To Loss

Mamak Khadem collaborates with Chris Martin. Music Press Asia

Iranian singer Mamak Khadem has recently released a new single. Titled ‘Across the Oceans’, the single is a collaboration with Chris Martin (Coldplay), and is released by Six Degrees Records. It is also Khadem’s first song from her upcoming album, titled Remembrance. A work, attributed to her late father, expresses themes of loss and supreme virtue.

Khadem’s work singing and hosting workshops for underprivileged children in refugee camps have inspired her creative efforts. Her goal to discover strength and hope through music, although hindered during the Covid-19 pandemic, is affecting. Through her persistence, she’d managed to record even remotely a children’s choir.

Song credit:
Composed by Mamak Khadem & Jamshied Sharifi
produced, arranged, recorded, and mixed by Jamshied Sharifi
Mamak Khadem – voice
Chris Martin – voice, piano
Coleman Barks – poetry recitation
Roubik Haroutunian – duduk
Ivan Chardakov – gaida
Marc Copely – acoustic and electric guitars
Megan Gould – violin, viola
Christopher Votek – cello, guzheng
Jamshied Sharifi – keyboards, bass, percussion
Alona Mor Freedman, Mirabai Gould, Kai Sakamoto Sharifi, Pema Sukhmani Sieber – children’s choir

Chris Martin from Coldplay contributed vocals and piano to the tracks, whose performance formed the foundation of the song.

Towards the second half of the song, Khadem had invited the poet Coleman Barks to recite the verse of Rumi. The beautifully translated poetry is highlighted below.

Poetry of Maulana Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī,
Translated by Coleman Barks

If you want to be a lover, give up
trying to figure the odds
on what you should do next.
Be a moth! Dive off the cliff!
Become the fearless flame.
Tear down your house.
Live with lovers. Wash your heart
of any anger. Wash it seven times!
Be the wineglass. Toast with yourself!
You are the wineglass. Toast with yourself!
You are the wineglass; The wine here
is love. This love

Accompanying the single is a music video directed by cinematographer Sam Javadi. The whales in the video embody the Earth we’re trying to save; its current state of global warming, environmental degradation, and ongoing water issues consumes the music in the video. Although it is filmed in Bushehr, Iran, and northern California, special effects and editing by Javadi’s team manifested the visuals to life.

Mamak Khadem’s new album Remembrance, scheduled for early 2022, is her fourth solo release and her first with Six Degrees Records. It was written in the isolation of her Santa Monica home during the pandemic as her beloved father lived out his final days back in Iran. Due to travel restrictions, Mamak was unable to be with him for the last time.

She was inspired by works of master musicians in the 1980s and regularly traveled back to Iran to study with prominent vocalists and musicians. Khadem also studied classical Indian singing at Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in northern California and Eastern European singing with the Los Angeles-based women’s choir Nevenka.

Inspired by her travels throughout the Middle East, Khadem adapts Persian poetry to rearrange traditional melodies from various regions of Iran, Baluchistan, Armenia, Turkey, Greece, and Kurdistan.

To purchase the track, click here.

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