[Back Vocals]


Time                RESCHEDULED:  Thursday, February 3 · 12:00pm - 2:00pm


Location        RESCHEDULED:  Steven Heck Room



Notes from director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb:

"Three years of roaming among musicians of Tehran resulted in 4000 minutes of footage; the outcome of 14 months of editing were two films centered on the theme of ‘restrictions on music in Iran.’  Back Vocal tells the story of women singers, whose unaccompanied singing is forbidden by religious laws of the country, but who nonetheless try to remain active...even if that means taking the second seat. I knew from the beginning that such a film would not get permission to be screened, so I never applied for a permit."


Join us for a screening of this underground film, with international award-winning film scorer and composer Saeed Shahram, from Iran, to lead post-screening discussion. Saeed Shahram is a noted composer with over 40 feature length movie soundtracks to his credit since 1983, he has been a part of the music industry in Iran for his whole life. His accomplishments include awards for "Two Sides of a Coin" and "Abadanies", the latter winning the prize for Best Film at the 1994 International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland. Saeed Shahram was a pioneer in introducing Iran to electronic music and he successfully fuses the East and the West in all aspects of his music, whether it's using the traditional Persian scales or mixing instrumentation. His album, Stand on the Earth, recorded in 1999 which set Forough Farrokhzad's poetry to Persian Jazz, features legendary jazz musician, Floyd Standifer Jr.and virtuoso Dr. Hossein Omoumi featured on the Iranian instrument, ney. One of his latest works was scoring a TV series show in Iran, "Gharib's Story", which became well known throughout the country and also the most viewed show on television in Iran.


This event is co-sponsored by the Office for Cultural Diversity, the Stan Getz Library, and the Development Office.



Very enlightening, very well organized, and amazing food!  Triple whammy!

        ~ Justin Fagan


It was an eye-opener to hear Saeed Shahram speak... I had no idea what the situation in Iran was like for musicians. Somehow I assumed the issues he talked about were in the past, I didn't realize they were such pressing current events! Anyway, I'm very glad I went, it was totally informative, and the hospitality was fabulous...I hope you have a lot more events like this, I'll definitely be there!!!

        ~ Laura Smith


My eyes and heart were illuminated by the movie which showed limitations and restrictions of the Iranian government on presenting a feminine voice to the public in Iran...The discussion was also insightful in the way that it showed the cultural gaps between the free expression in the western world in contrast to a country that is still struggling to lift its head under a strong regime. I feel blessed that I can freely express myself on stage and in my compositions. Thank you for opening my eyes.
        ~ Sagit Zilberman