• Riia Mallat

Songs for the Middle East, a new age from an old land

Updated: Mar 8

Songs for the Middle East is an album consisting of eight oriental tracks, each featuring an instrument from a different region of the middle east in the new age style. This soothing album is composed and performed by Hamed Habibpour and produced by the Tunitemusic record label.


"Songs for the Middle East" has been released in July 2021. you can listen to or download this album on all digital music platforms or you can purchase the high-quality studio version from Tunitemusic's store and support independent music.


Hamed Habibpour is a multi-instrumentalist and composer focusing on traditional and folklore music of Iran. he is residing in Turkey and studying composition. Hamed’s main style is Iranian Traditional music. the music of the middle-east and its wonderful instruments has always amazed him. in his first independent release "Santur ile Anadoludan Esintiler", Hamed performs his own arrangement of some of the best-known songs in the Middle East on the Santur.


"Bahar Santur" (Spring Santur) is one of Hamed Habibpour's creative projects, in which he extended and altered the sound of the traditional Iranian Zither, called “Santur” by using several long springs and connecting them to different processions. this made the instrument have a different resonance from the original version and create an interesting new sound.



Habibpour’s talent is not limited to playing and altering instruments. In his second album, “Songs for the Middle East” he combines the melodies and instruments of the middle east with the harmonic progression of western music on an electronic ambient accompaniment. This album consists of eight original compositions, each one dedicated to a city in the Middle East. in terms of genre, this album hovers somewhere between new age, easy listening, and world music. the use of Middle Eastern instruments simultaneously with the more familiar ambient and electronic sounds, has made an amazing combination that attracts any audience from around the world.


"Songs for the middle east " is produced by Arashk Azizi, but except that, Habibpour has acted like a real "one-man-band" in this album. he composed, arranged, performed, and recorded all of the tracks on his own. He also mixed and mastered all the tracks himself.


As an experienced instrumentalist, Hamed managed to create a smooth melodic development in each track, thus creating soothing music that is full of familiarity and new exotic textures at the same time for the audience.


The pieces in this album in order are named, “A song for Isfahan”, “A song for Cairo”, “A song for Konya”, “A song for Beirut”, “A song for Damascus”, “A song for Tabriz”, “A song for Erbil”, and “A song for Kabul” in which you can hear the Setar, Santur, and Rubab, each as the leading instrument playing the main melody in a track.



The calm and soothing atmosphere of the album makes it suitable for relaxation, study, focus, and sleeping. Unlike much of the new age music that has an electronic background with the main melody influenced by the far-east music, “songs for the Middle East” as obvious from its name, has a deep influence from middle eastern music.



The use of middle eastern percussions and rhythms gives the music of Habibpour a specific spice. Although the melodies and their progressions are simple, it does not make the music boring. The simplicity of the melodies helps them to create a soothing atmosphere. At some point in each track, you can feel an improvisation in the main melody, though it never breaks the vibe of the track. Habibpour probably did some improvisations, but he did it in a clever way that suits the music of this album.


So far Hamed Habibpour released two albums, each with a different purpose. Personally, I am waiting for his next release and I’m sure it will be great music to listen to. We should wait and see what this new artist will bring for us in the future.


#review #album_review #music_review #electronic_music #independent_music #ambient_music #middle_eastern_music #Hamed_Habibpour #Setar #Santur #Rubab #instrumental_music

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