ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An ensemble representing the Kurdistan Region in a recent musical event in the Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) city of Sanandaj (Sine) came in first place in one of the festival’s group competitions.
The three-day outdoor event kicked off in front of Bahman Cinema on Wednesday, celebrating the percussion instrument known in the region as the daf. It was the ninth of its kind to be organized in Sine, referred to locally as the "daf capital of the world" for its local popularity and the number of esteemed daf players the city produces.
Along with large-scale performances, a series of competitions were held in which prominent Kurdish instrumentalists and vocalists presided as judges, including famed daf player and singer Bijan Kamkar.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA reported that participants from 20 provinces in Iran attended as well as a number of daf groups from several other countries. Prolonged rainfall cut short the first day of the event but festivities continued over the next two days both inside and outside Bahman Cinema.
The event included several contests for both solo and group performers, including separate competitions for male and female instrumentalists.
Another was for groups from outside Iran. Representing the Kurdistan Region, the five-person ensemble called Yaran won this competition. Yaran is supervised by artist Bilal Kaiwani and the latest victory marks the fourth time they have achieved it.
The daf, sometimes also called a dap or riqq, is traditionally used in Kurdish and Persian music.
Much like a larger, deeper western tambourine, it consists of a frame covered in stretched goatskin, with rows of metal rings or chains that add a jingling effect. A wide range of sounds, from light taps to a sonorous bass rumbles, can be achieved by striking the goatskin head in different locations and with different parts of the hand.
Editing by John J. Catherine