LA Yoga Magazine – Jan/Feb 2003
Skirball Cultural Center – 9.26.2002
Ancient winds blow from Armenian reeds. Greek guitar riffs ripple in space. Asian and African drums thump overlapping. Bass lines groove from the fingers of a Brazilian musical stylist. Devotional wails sail from the vocal chords of a Persian siren sitting cross-legged on a hand woven carpet. The house is packed, the crowd screams with delight. The musicians tempt and push one another into a realm where composition and improvisation collide. This is what it means to arrive on the frontiers of music where cultures bleed into one another and become one. This is the power that is Axiom of Choice. The bandleader waxes humble from the stage. His musical vision manifesting before him, and he doesn’t hide his own fascination. He invented the perfect guitar for his compositions that braid ancient Persian phrasing into the modern day freedom of jazz. His sound is singular. The songs sung in Farci have titles that translate as Mystics are Foolsand I Am What I Am. Young and old enjoy this night, this music from a country, Iran, labeled as evil by American leaders. The band keeps it coming for hours. This Persian jazz, this stratospheric beauty, these sobs and belly laughs and harmonies feed those of us who have congregated tonight at the Skirball Cultural Center to listen. And it sounds like love to me.
Santa Monica Beach – 9.28.2002
Prayer flowers glow in the ocean. Their seeds spreading hope that has been sown in the hearts and minds of the barefoot tribe of white who have been drawn to celebrate togetherness on the beach tonight. Drums beat the samba, aboriginal dancers chant and sing – their painted faces calling on spirit for healing. Soulful women wade knee deep in the waves and sway to the beat. Vibrations of truth have enclosed us like a sweet fog of music for the past two weeks – insulating us from cries of inevitable war, allowing revelers to drink in the pure strain of spiritual music the world over. Two weeks of well-known and unknown musicians, peasants and kings, calling on God and delivering serenity. And the serenity glows in the surf now, and the peace fire has been ignited in our hearts.