Simorqmusic: Simorq is the magnificent bird of fables.

Jalaleddin Kazazi

He is a grand bird, which possesses a foundational and iconic position both in tales of battle and in traditional stories filled with secrets and mysticism. Simorq is an excellent, complicated and deep, multi-faceted symbol in the realms of wisdom and intelligence, knowing and giving, medicine and healing, leadership and reign, honesty and deliverance, and he illuminates not just our internal world but also the external one. This is why the birds of Attar, the wise elder of Neishaboor, end their search and passionate flight with him: See Morgh  to Simoq,  at the Alborz of familiarity and Kaf of unity. ...

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The Song of Simorq’s Wings

Hommage by Mohsen Banaei in the emergence of Simorq's first performance in Tehran

1) Solar Year 350, 971

On a dark night, the end of which does not seem to exist, a middle-aged man from the village of Paj in the grand state of Khorasan is sitting in the middle of a garden and staring at the boundless continuity of the darkness. It is a night as dark as tar, with no Saturn, Mars, or Mercury. The army of night has camped in prairies and put up pavilions, and it seems not to have thoughts of departure. The man’s eyes are directed towards Toos, city of the epic hero of the land of Iran. The middle-aged Khorasanian is staring into the dark and does not move the slightest bit. His heart is filled with fear, despair, attraction, and passion:

  • The earth has stopped moving
  • The sun has lost strength in its limbs
  • The world is anxious of its own state
  • The night’s guardian is singing his song

The Eyes of the middle-aged Khorasanian are staring into the darkness, yet the bird of his thoughts is soaring in a mythical sky, and in search for pray, it digs into ancient stories with its detail oriented eyes.

The man shifts in his place for a second. A delicate breeze comes through and brings with it the scent of the kind beloved. A woman with the proud khorasanian costume steps into the garden and brings with her a light, a scroll, and a pheasant feather sitting in ink, and she embraces the middle-aged Khorasanian. The beautiful woman whispers a story with a Pahlavi dialect in order to calm the anxious soul of the middle-aged khorasanian. He puts his head along his wife’s ear and whispers:

  • Now listen dear beloved…

The anxiety in the Khorasanian’s soul settles down little by little, his hand reaches for the pheasant feather unconsciously, and in a night when no bird songs and no roar of wild beasts can be heard, the two lovers lend their ears to the friction of pen on the Samarkand scroll, the world lights up in the eyes of the middle-aged Khorasanian, the sky’s bosom opens and an extra-ordinary creature emerges from the pheasant feather’s tip and takes flight towards Bakhtar.

Simorq’s flight has begun.

2) Solar Year 1384, 2005

On a dark an gloomy night, with a sky covered with rain soaked clouds, in the city of Heerlen, Netherlands, a middle-aged man from the grant state of Khorasan is sitting behind his desk by the window and is staring into the boundless darkness.

Heerlen is a small city near Aachen, capital of Carolus Magnus, who was the founder of Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis , and it has a long history of culture and European Civilization. From the time of mythology to the wars of Roman forces with the Germans, Alemannis, Gauls, and Celts, and also in the religious wars of Europe, Heerlen has been the scene for historical events at least once in each century.

The Middle-aged Khorasanian is sitting next to the window and is staring into the boundless darkness. It is a pitch-black night with a cloud-filled sky:

  • Like a rust covered metal, the sky is dark
  • As if its complexion was covered with tar
  • And embraced in this dark cloak
  • The world has fallen asleep

A thick book is opened to a certain page upon his desk and on top of this page is written:

“The Story of Zal’s Birth and Being Left Behind in Alborz Mountain by Sam Nariman”

The mind and body of the middle-aged khorasanian is filled with feelings of excitement and passion on one hand, and fear of disability in accomplishing the task on the other. In his head he can hear the sound of tar’s pick and the clashing of swords, the roar of tombak and the hoofs of horses combined. The sounds of Gheichak remind him of warhorns and Santur resembles the harp of Sam Nariman’s court musicians. The middle-aged khorasanian paces the room anxiously. A deep silence has taken over Heerlen’s sky. The Khorasanian goes to his desk, puts the pen on paper and writes:

  • There was no son such as that of Sam’s

Now the Middle-aged Khorasanian only hears the gliding pen upon paper, darkness loses its color, Alborz mountains appear in front of his window, songs in the modes of Chahargah, Homayoun, Mahoor, and Nava appear upon the bosom of the paper one after the other. Dawn is arriving little by little and a pleasing wind disintegrates the rain-filled clouds, light replaces darkness, the man closes his eyes and fills his chest with morning’s rejuvenating air, and lends his ears to distant Eastern lands.

The sound of Simorq’s wings can be heard.

3) Solar Year 1389, 2010

Simorq, fatigued from a thousand years of flight, and while keeping an eye towards the grand Khorasan and the other towards Heerlen, has traveled around the world and been recited through the mouths of numerous story tellers. Painters of Isfahan and portraitists of China have depicted it on paper. Simorq, fatigued from the thousand year old flight, has arrived in Tehran and it is holding onto the song of descent.

The Land of Rey is anticipating the arrival of Simorq.

Mohsen Banaei, Literary Advisor for the Simorq project

Tehran, Summer of 1389 (2010)