Unfolding

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Persian fusion band Axiom of Choice illumine the poetry of Omar Khayyam, the medieval mathematician and philosopher whose Ruba'iyat has become a cornerstone of the literary canon, with the gorgeous Unfolding. Continuing on their ever-widening course, Axiom of Choice, led by émigrés Loga Ramin Torkian, Mamad Mohsenzadeh, and Mamak Khadem, incorporate rhythms and instruments outside the Persian classical tradition, even indulging subtly evocative electronics on the two-part instrumental "Through the Shadows." Lesser bands have taken spiritual subject matter and a fondness of pan-cultural instrumentation to predictable dead-ends, but over a three-album career, Axiom of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Persian fusion band Axiom of Choice illumine the poetry of Omar Khayyam, the medieval mathematician and philosopher whose Ruba'iyat has become a cornerstone of the literary canon, with the gorgeous Unfolding. Continuing on their ever-widening course, Axiom of Choice, led by émigrés Loga Ramin Torkian, Mamad Mohsenzadeh, and Mamak Khadem, incorporate rhythms and instruments outside the Persian classical tradition, even indulging subtly evocative electronics on the two-part instrumental "Through the Shadows." Lesser bands have taken spiritual subject matter and a fondness of pan-cultural instrumentation to predictable dead-ends, but over a three-album career, Axiom of Choice have resolutely resisted the bland atmospherics of new age, rooting even the most dramatic elements of their original music in the chiaroscuro tones of Persian modes and rhythms. Tablas burble along, as well the Central Asian reed, the duduk, but the heart of the band's sound is Torkian's custom quarter-tone guitar, which cycles around the ululating vocals of Khadem in a kind of mystical ascension. On "Color of Dreams," her voice is multitracked into a choir of richly hued chants and wails, backed by a minimalist tamboura drone and thumb-piano -- think Anonymous 4 on a trip to Marrakesh. The ever-Unfolding creative vision of Axiom of Choice continues to make compelling music out of such cross-cultural mix-n-match.
All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The name of this provocative global-minded ensemble comes from a mathematical term which helps define their desire to improvise on a theme, even within the parameters of traditional song form. While remaining true to their Persian roots, they incorporate the sounds of other cultures, with the end result being to make Persian music more accessible to people from foreign cultures. Led by founding guitarist and diwan player Loga Ramin Torkian, their progressive sound incorporates the quarter-tone guitar, saz, diwan Middle Eastern lutes, the Armenian duduk oboe, clarinet, electric cello, and other global percussion instruments. The focus here is creating unique and seductive interpretations of Raga Omar Khayyam's evocative poetry, and most of the tracks here have corresponding passages in the liner notes. The passage for "Mystics and Fools" talks about being drunk on precious wine, and there is a trippy, lighthearted spirit about the song as well -- it sounds like joyful and danceable harem music driven by clarinet, diwan, and jangling percussion. "Evanescent" features a more contemplative verse, and thus is more mystical and ambient Torkian is even credited as playing the "ambient guitar". "Parting Ways With the Soul" features Mamak Khadem's passionate-plea vocals over a moody acoustic bass and cello line. The tone throughout varies between this kind of melancholy contemplation and rapturous expressions of frenetic joy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/27/2002
  • Label: Narada
  • UPC: 724381258125
  • Catalog Number: 12581

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Axiom of Choice Primary Artist
Simeon Pillich Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Martin Tillman Electric Bass, Electric Cello
Bikram Ghosh Tabla
Andre Harutyunyan Percussion
Mamak Khadem Percussion
Technical Credits
Steve Hall Mastering
Tom Schnabel Author
Bijan Mottahedeh Poetry Translation
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