Relics for Viola and Cello

Programme Notes

My country of birth, Iran, is home to a rich diversity of ethnicities (Kurds, Arabs, Baloochs, Gilakis, Azeris, Bakhtiaris, etc. to name a few), each possessing their own unique dialect (or language), and their own distinct body of folk songs. Not much research has been done into the folk music of the various regions of Iran, with the folk singing traditions quickly dying. Growing up in Iran, I had little access to the folk music of my country. I was introduced to the majority of Iranian folksongs through a book of intermediate piano pieces. It contained simple arrangements of various Iranian folk songs often harmonized in a Western style similar to Bartok’s early approach to the folk music he discovered. The starting idea for this piece (the theme) is original, and resembles some of the folk music I played as a young piano student. Each of the following variations, each relic, explores a distant memory of my childhood.

Performance History

October 13, 2019 – Gill, MA – Raman Ramakrishnan and Melissa Reardon
July 11, 2020 – Open Space Music Livestream – Raman Ramakrishnan and Melissa Reardon
July 12, 2020 – Open Space Music Livestream – Raman Ramakrishnan and Melissa Reardon
February 2021 – Portland Chamber Music Festival Virtual Event – Reardon and Ramakrishnan
August 24, 2021 – Rosamunde Summer Music Festival – David Liam Roberts and Rennie Regehr
July 21, 2023 – Toronto Summer Music Festival – Barry Shiffman and Matthew Zalkind

In the Press
“The five brief pieces sometimes would elicit giggles around me for its wit and clever imitative rhetoric, a kind of call and response that seemed primal and pre-verbal, leading us to an explosion of applause at the end for Habibi, who was in attendance. I want to hear more from this eloquent young composer.” Leslie Barcza

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Recording (excerpt)

Perusal Score