Axiom of Choice


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The name of this provocative global-minded ensemble comes from a mathematical term which helps define their desire to improvise on a theme, even within the parameters of traditional song form. While remaining true to their Persian roots, they incorporate the sounds of other cultures, with the end result being to make Persian music more accessible to people from foreign cultures. Led by founding guitarist and diwan player Loga Ramin Torkian, their progressive sound incorporates the quarter-tone guitar, saz, diwan (Middle Eastern lutes), the Armenian duduk (oboe), clarinet, electric cello, and other global percussion instruments. The focus here is creating unique and seductive interpretations of Raga Omar Khayyam's evocative poetry, and most of the tracks here have corresponding passages in the liner notes. The passage for "Mystics and Fools" talks about being drunk on precious wine, and there is a trippy, lighthearted spirit about the song as well -- it sounds like joyful and danceable harem music driven by clarinet, diwan, and jangling percussion. "Evanescent" features a more contemplative verse, and thus is more mystical and ambient (Torkian is even credited as playing the "ambient guitar"). "Parting Ways With the Soul" features Mamak Khadem's passionate-plea vocals over a moody acoustic bass and cello line. The tone throughout varies between this kind of melancholy contemplation and rapturous expressions of frenetic joy.

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