by Tom Nguyen
Atash, an amazing band from Austin, comes to play Los Angeles on Sunday, September 28, at The Mint, and I’ve been addicted to the music on their new album Everything is Music from first listen. They play an original blend of Persian, Middle Eastern, Indian and African rhythms that truly transcends boundaries and I was astounded such a rich, exotically vibrant sound was coming out of Texas of all places!
Well, I had a chance to talk to Roberto Paulo Riggio, the musical director of the 9 member collective and he gave me a fascinating education! Read on about how rich a musical tradition and epicenter Austin, Texas is, for attracting musicians from around the world, their long journey to forming Atash around the pivotal moment of 9/11, and how their music is anything but traditional!
Inspired by mystical Sufism, their music is uninhibited and unafraid to blend and arrange traditional music in new richly layered textures and sounds. Most of all, their mesmerizing music and rebellious lyrics are about bringing people together in the spirit of peace, love, and celebration!
Listen to the song Talangor (Flick!) as singer Mohammad Firoozi recites a poem by Sufi mystic Rumi and read our interview with Atash!
I am not white, I am not black
I am not a follower, I am not a leader
I am not a slave to religion
I am not as they have said I am
I am not as you have heard I am
You are the one
You have been seeking your whole life
You are the world itself
You are the moment of love itself