From childhood singing games to the love of tanbour and opera
Our childhood was fulfilled with music in all its forms, round games, singing games, late night family gatherings where kids were overused as a singer entertainers, so called ” party heaters”. Or by accompanying mom in a funerals were she might hold a lament for departed one.
Sometime even me (Marouf) or my brother Gian were asked to sing something from the holy book at the funerals. So, there was always something to do with music. Gian was playing violin, he had an instrument so it was easier and joyful for him to playing the violin. I was taking piano lessons but there was no instrument for me, so it was a bit funny because there was nowhere to practice and develope it. Later on I found tanbour and Gian found western classical music and through that the opera!
Our roads diverged, Gian got into the western classical music and I went deep into the roots of our traditions. life also steered us to different paths. Gian went to Tehran the capital to study the music, making contacts and he also got into the fine art academy. I went to the west to a small village called Gahvareh to learn the secrets of tanbour music and to meet with the ahlehaq people (people of truth). Later on I also moved to Tehran and started the tar and persian classical music studies.
Life guided me to study turkish folk music in Sparta turkey and Gian to study the opera in Essen Germany. I moved to Finland and started my studies in Finnish folk music and Gian went to London for his studies, I moved to Rotterdam and started in Codarts, Gian went to Oslo and took singing lessons and then to Tampere Finland were he started to work in tampere opera where we finally got together, again!
The beginning of BaranBand
After a while we were again concerted, together, like how it was before but this time more mature and with more musical knowledge, but with the same old childish passion and will to make music and this was the beginning of the BaranBand.
BaranBand was necessary and natural result of our reunification. Just now we had bigger ideas! Our dream was not just to have a band with many instruments and good musicians, but rather unique personalities and remarkable musicians! We wanted to have the bests in our side! We wanted those who are able to bring life to the music which is not their own tradition.
I knew Lotta Pitkänen from Sibelius Academy, a jazz violin player full of passion and curiosity for the middle Eastern music roots, so she was automatically the first option for the Band! Lotta has got an amazing sound and she is one of those fiddlers who makes you love the instrument.
Esko Grundström was kind of automatic member of the band. I know him from the very first moments that I arrived in Helsinki, multi Instrumentalist and very intense musician. we have been playing a lot together and we have a very good understanding of each other on and off the stage!
I already knew some bass players, but the first time that we played with Simo Kärki it was very easy for me to ask him to join the group! Simo plays both upright and electric bass, left handed jazz background musician who looks very calm on stage but brings and offers craziest bass lines that are hard to dislike!
Our drummer Ricardo Padilla has become a brain of the band, he is not only the foundation of the rhythms and grooves in BaranBand but also leads us to reach and higher levels with his wide knowledge in music. Ricardo was co-producer of our debut album “Mn Bo To”.
BaranBand’s history is short, but we are here to make our own history. To make music and make something which sounds like us, something original, something which drives us to make more music and drives our audience and fans to continue dancing, having fun and having new stories with us.