Fariborz Lachini

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Born: August 25, 1949    Primary Instrument: Piano

Fariborz Lachini has been creating music for more than three decades. While in his twenties and just before the revolution, Lachini had already achieved success in the world of pop music, creating music for some of today's Persian pop icons as well as music for children. Most kinds of music were banned in Iran after the revolution, so Lachini moved to France to study music and computers.

Living in Europe and studying at “Universite de Paris - Sorbonne” added a European flavor to Lachini’s music and influenced his style to become a distinctive and beautiful fusion of contemporary Persian and European styles. He also mastered the technology to create exotic sampled Middle Eastern instruments, immediately putting him in a unique position when he entered the world of film music. The score for the Berlin Special Mention winner, Snake's Fang (1991), is an example of this. Variety comments: “...The exceptional music is a computerized version of traditional southern Iranian percussion. Soundtrack sets the pace and signals both danger and action throughout the film.”

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Redefining minimalism

The one and only thing that bothers me about the music of Lachini is that I didn't find it sooner. I was first introduced to it in early 2008, and the quality and overall synthesis of the pieces blew my mind. And as I did more research about Lachini, his background and his music, the more interested I became. Put simply, these are pieces that are hard to believe are being written today. They're that ahead of their time.

Comparisons to contemporaries happen-as they often do-when it comes to trying to explain Lachini's music to those who are uninitiated. But it seems like the right adjectives aren't always there. Either way, it needs to be said: Steve Reich and Thomas Newman really have nothing on Fariborz Lachini when it comes to mindful reductivism in classical music. Although both composers do what they do very well, the frequent comparisons to Lachini's compositions aren't really the most accurate ones. True, both Reich and Newman fall along the lines of creating soundscapes for a new wave world. But minimalism, a benign enough term that's often been used to describe Lachini's compositions, is also a name that doesn't go far enough when talking about his music. Lachini, who is known and revered for his film compositions (and of course, the rest of his extensive body of work) for decades like Newman, stands alone with a gift for creating compositions that are so emotionally searing that it's easy to be curious about their sources. And while Lachini's compositions are vivacious, it's also obvious that they would easily succeed in every era-their origins even seem mysterious, as though the compositions were just discovered as sheet music in a tucked-away vault somewhere and had just been given new life.

Case in point: the “Requiem” album. This batch of neo-classical opuses would very easily be just at home in Europe at the turn of the century as it is in 2008, enrapturing audiences from all walks of life. This album also marks the first time he's venturing into the territory of a pure classical album. Lachini's background-he's Iranian but studied music in Paris-led to him learning how to combine aspects of music from his homeland with what he heard in Europe. The results, especially on “Requiem”, are galvanic and vibrant. What he has created here is an intensity that translates across genres- which is proven by the fact that he's also managed to parlay this quiet but critical intensity into more than 100 film scores.

Vitality can come in a variety of forms, and with this album, you can set your expectations well beyond the typical classical music canon. You can anticipate subtlety, suspense and longing, too-all of which are genuinely lost arts in classical music.

--Stephanie R. Myers, New York City, August 2008

As a Composer/Pianist

Lachini Media
Tracks: Requiem; Unafraid; Blossom, Enigmatic Heart, Unwritten Letter, Across the Waves, Dinner by Candlelight, Emerging From the Clouds.
Instrument: Piano.

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