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Madman of God

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Album Review

Remarkably for a singer of such high reputation, who has been active as a recording artist since the mid-1980s, this is Sussan Deyhim's first solo recording. Previous outings included albums created in tandem with Richard Horowitz, the magnificent Majoun among them, and innumerable guest appearances on CDs by the likes of Bill Laswell, Jah Wobble, Russell Mills, and Brian Eno. On Madman of God Deyhim returns to the roots of her own musical tradition: a millennium's worth of Sufi love poetry. Familiar folk music to generations of Iranians, Deyhim transcends the merely archival in her interpretations of these classic melodies with her rich, musty vocals and eclectic arrangements. More than ably assisting her are a cross-genre collection of musicians, including Raz Mesinai (aka Badawi), Reggie Workman, Karsh Kale, Horowitz, cellist Dawn Bukholtz Andrews, and Reza Derakhshani on a variety of stringed traditional instruments. Deyhim certainly exercises her gift with flourish; the largely wordless vocal of "Daylaman (Inextricable)" or her show-stopping imitation of tablas on "Negara (Mesmerized Mirror)" are but two striking examples. Together with performances like the elegiac "Hamcho Farhad (Our Tears, Our Wine, Our Sight)" and "Navai (Savage Bird)," with its distinctly Celtic undertones, this album is actually more accessible than her more avant-garde (though equally entrancing) efforts with Horowitz.

Customer Reviews

Haunting, spirtual music

In the album notes, Sussan Deyhim says that she has sought, through this music, to evoke and live the vibration, the essence of the Sufi way. In my opinion, she has clearly achieved this. The beautiful, haunting songs at times become mantras that are rhythmically repeated before drifting back into song again. There are moments when I hear echoes of Loreena McKennitt in the music so if you like her, this album is well worth a listen. I love it.


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Singer Sussan Deyhim was born in Tehran and has had a full career as a dancer. From 1971 to 1975, she was a part of Pars National Ballet, affiliated with Persian National Television. In 1976, she received a scholarship to MUDRA (Maurice Bejart's School of Performing Arts). She then performed with Bejart's Ballet of the XX Century. Since 1980, Deyhim has been based in New York and has performed internationally as a vocalist, performance artist, and composer. She has collaborated with composers Mickey...
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Madman of God, Sussan Deyhim
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