PERFORMER: Hossein ’Omoumi (ney), Sima Bina (vocal), Madjid Khaladj (tombak, daf), Madjid Derakhshani (tar)
CATALOGUE NO: NI 7060-61
THE SONG OF THE NEY reissues two discs of ’Omoumi’s now-rare expertise on this Persian flute, made from a hollow reed like bamboo, with its breathy low notes and piping high register.
A real scholar of the instrument, he has improved its mouthpiece and encouraged its ensemble repertoire, a 19th-century development which brought richer and more varied textures with voice and the plucked tar.
This makes the second disc more immediately approachable, featuring Sima Bina’s strong and clear sung lines, now soft and elaborately ornamented and now full-on. But the whole set is quietly compelling, not least for the flourishes of the tombak, as speedy as the Indian tabla.