NIYAZ - The Fourth Light

NIYAZ The Fourth Light

By Ian Browne Shamrock News

Like I did with the first, self-titled album released by NIYAZ, I purchased The Fourth Light at Lismore’s Music Bizarre from my friend Deb, who is an avid fan of NYAZ singer Azam Ali’s craft. The other half of NIYAZ being the very talented musician, Loga R. Torkian. To understand NIYAZ it is best to acknowledge Azam Ali. Iranian born, having also lived in India, and then moving to settle in Canada, Azam has been rewarded for bridging the cultural divide between Israeli and Arabic music, she remains one of my favourite singers. Azam Ali’s darkwave Roselands (seen on this website), which features her hammered dulcimer, and along with Azam’s sufi-mystique releases, fill out my diverse music collection. Ten years on from the first CD, at first glance I really felt that The Fourth Light hadn’t really ventured too far, yet I loved the variety in Middle Eastern acoustic sounds immediately. On further ‘inspection’ there is more depth in sound than I first thought, especially when you research the meaning behind each song.

NIYAZ means ‘yearning’ in Persian, Turkish and Urdu. Azam really does her best to express ‘hope against oppression’ in her songs, whispering laments from a time long since passed, while ‘restoring a frayed bond’ between that world and this one. The fourth CD in the NIYAZ collection, its creation was influenced by the ‘poets of great Eastern mystics’ and ‘folk songs from religious and ethnic minority groups’. Eighth Century poet Rabia Al Basri, a slave girl born to crippling poverty, and who rose to liberate herself into a spiritual figure; the first female sufi; her message, her plight, continues to this day for women in all paternal societies’ - Azam Ali states on the NIYAZ website.

NIYAZ includes electronic beats along with Persian, Indian and Mediterranean folk. Azam also created the art work for the CD seen here. My favourite songs are: Sabza Ba Naz (the triumph of love) which is based on a traditional Afghan song. This song lifts the curtain to the CD and is instrumentally sensational. My other favourite lies towards the end of the CD, Shir Ali Mardan (song of a warrior) which is a traditional Bakhtiari folk song from Iran, again, the instrumental is wizen-n-beautiful. Azam Ali is popular in the U.S where she is touring Miami and a variety of university campuses this year. With their spicy blend of world electronica, NIYAZ continued to top the world music charts in the decade between the four album releases. There is also a compilation album which has since been released. As for The Fourth Light, it will not disappoint!

Visit NIYAZ: http://www.niyazmusic.com/

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