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Iran: Tehran Forbidden Music Scene


Travis Beard/ Argus

Since the revolution of 1978, Iran has been living under strict Islamic rule. One law that has been enforced on Iranian is banning the performance of western music in public. Jazz, rock, hip hop, heavy metal and more have been deemed forbidden by the government. Despite threats of imprisonment, whipping and other punishments, Tehran youth defy the ban and continue to create music in underground studios. Some who are good enough are signed up by record companies overseas and eventually leave Iran for more prosperous opportunities in the West. But some are adamant about staying in Iran and trying to build a music scene under the increasingly difficult conditions. When i was here year I was invited to a illegal outdoor rock concert that was busted and the 200 attendees were arrested and detained for up to 3 days. Some punters were beaten, all had to sign deceleration not to partake again in what the government dubbed a meeting of the "Devils Prayers" So, i came back this year to check out if this so called 'underground music scene' existed and what was behind the closed doors Tehran studios and homes. Bands I have shot: Hidden Mafia (Hip Hop) Female pop singer Masah (women singing in public is banned) Heavy Metal band: Kahtmayan. Rock Band: Da-sh Female singer of Rock band: Go Out to it Indie Rock Band: Yellow Dogs New Metal: Free Keys Traditional Jazz: Gach Pash. 2000 word article available


 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167953

Members of the Hidden Mafia can not walk around the streets of Tehran dressed as they like they do behind the lcosed doors of the studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167964

The bass guitaist and guitarist in the band: Yellow Dogs have only been playing together for 2 years. They were musically: tight.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167963

Indie rock band: Yellow Dogs have only been playing together for 2 years, but already they have interest from producers and record companies outside Iran.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167962

At the studio of rock band Da-sh, the men drink tea and non-alcoholic beer style drinks while they practice their music.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167956

Psychelic rock band: Go Out To it are headed by a female singe. she was arrested last year for siging at a illegal concert. she was held for 3 days and now has to keep her profession secret in fear of punishment from the government.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167957

It is illegal and punishable by death for a female to sing in public. At this concert the lady was arrested and detained for 3 days before being released without charges.

Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167959

Rock band Da-sh play in a underground basement style studio and are about to head off to germany for a musical festival that have been invited to play at.

Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167955

Psychelic rock band: Go Out To it are headed by a female singe. she was arrested last year for siging at a illegal concert. she was held for 3 days and now has to keep her profession secret in fear of punishment from the government.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167954

Fashion is a very important element within hip hop, unlike other genres, hip is more about what you say and look like than what music you create.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167967

In a dark cafe in central Tehran guitarist from heavy meatal band Khatmayer show is self produced video clip to a friend. they have to listen to the music on headphones as playing this music in public is prohibited.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167949

the boys of this so called gang of rappers is called: Hidden Mafia, poss for a promo shot. they are about to relase their first compliation album, with songs from all 7 members.

Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167950

This so called gang of rappers is called: Hidden Mafia, their leader H-Steps says they sing about issues for the people of Tehran and they have a strong following in the southern, poorer suburbs of Tehran.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167952

The Hidden Mafia studio is totally illegal and survives on rates it charges for amatures to come and use the studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167948

inside a legal pop studio in central tehran. Pop music is sometimes accecpted by the government and given permission to preform live. Pop gets permission because the artists re-word the lyrics to make them acceptable for givernment standards.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167947

Pop music is sometimes accecpted byt he government and given permission to preform live. Pop gets permission because the artists re-word the lyrics to make them acceptable for givernment standards.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167946

A government sponsored charity benenfot concert in northern tehran. Security is present to make sure the audience does not get 'over excited with the music.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167945

A government sponsored concert in northern tehran. the musician must sing approved songs and not move at all while preforming.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167984

The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians what instruments or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. behind closed doors the women's veil comes off and they enjoy the music like most women would.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167966

Yellow Dogs have one of the only illegal studios located above ground. They take a break from playng to talk bout their music.

Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167965

The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians what instruments or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. behind closed doors the women's veil comes off and they enjoy the music like most women would.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167968

New Metal band: Free Keys have a large studio undergorund where they practice and record. On this day they could not practice because the daily electricity cuts meant they could not turn on the amplifiers

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167969

New Metal band: Free Keys have a large studio undergorund where they practice and record. Last year they held several illegal concerts here but had to stop in fear that the popularity of the gigs would attract the attention of the government.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167970

New Metal band: Free Keys have a large studio undergorund where they practice and record. The drummer of the bnd has just been invited to the UK to play on a tour with fellow Tehrna band "Take it easy Hospital"

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167971

Behind closed doors the women's veil comes off and the listen to music and comtimplate its meaning.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167972

In a studio 3 floors down and no more than 6m squared the traditional jazz band: Gach Pash bass playe and 5 other musicians and another 7 on lookers into their 12 ft x 6 ft egg carton studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167974

In a studio 3 floors downthe view from the drummers seat of traditional jazz band: Gach Pash squeeze 6 musicians and another 7 on lookers into their 12 ft x 6 ft egg carton studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167978

A view of the studio 3 floors down and no more than 6m suared the traditional jazz band: Gach Pash squeeze 6 musicians and another 7 on lookers onto their egg carton studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167977

A young iranian woman enjoys the music being played by the traditional jazz band: Gach Pash squeeze 6 musicians and another 7 on lookers into their 12 ft x 6 ft egg carton studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167975

the drummer from traditional jazz band: Gach Pash shows his satisfaction for the music. they squeeze 6 musicians and another 7 on lookers into their 12 ft x 6 ft egg carton studio.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167980

Friday night, Tehrani's on their way to a party, drive through the streets of the city listening to their favourite music.

Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167981

The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians bring what instruments they can or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. Even tis is considered illegal.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167982

The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians what instruments or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions. Alcohol bought on the black market is common at these parties.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0167983

The only place where Iranaians can play their music to audience is at private parties. Musicians bring what instruments they can or other objects they can find and make improvised jam sessions.

Tehran, Tehran, Iran, république islamique d' - 20/08/2008



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