Untold, the first cycle of Hafez Nazeri's ongoing Rumi Symphony Project, is a long vocal and instrumental suite, drawn from eastern and western classical traditions to cross over cultural boundaries. Based on the poetry of the 13th century Sufi mystic Rumi, the program is universal in intent, and the music carries the idea of transcendence through the blending of ancient Persian and Kurdish melodies with modern orchestral and choral sonorities. Nazeri's massive, open-ended form is purposely designed with future recordings in mind, and it provides ample room for expressing his ideas on the totality of existence; the themes he pursues are the stock in trade of contemporary mysticism. Instead of a conventional symphony, or even part of a symphony in the broadest sense, Untold is a series of loosely worked but ornate sections with connections to new age spirituality, as set out in the four Chapter headings -- I. Creation (Om), II. Existence, III. Untold, and IV. Eternal Return -- along with various esoteric sub-sections. This album may appeal to people who are interested in eastern thought, and perhaps secondarily in Persian music, which is the main source of Nazeri's inspiration. Furthermore, this disc may find a mixed audience among adult contemporary, international, and crossover fans. However, traditional classical listeners will find this work to be over-produced and off-putting for lacking a clear method or even a rationale for its formal shapelessness. Reception may depend most on one's openness to Nazeri's cosmic ideas, rather than on his skills as a composer.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Untold (Rumi Symphony Project: Cycle 1)|