Signature song for Music Freedom Day 2007



Music Freedom Day
Signature song for the Music Freedom Day

Recorded for Freemuse and the Music Freedom Day, the emotional song ‘Navai’ features the Iranian singer Marjan Vahdat in a musical collaboration with the British guitarist Jason Carter. They first met and performed together at a Freemuse conference. 

Click to listen to the song

As a woman, Marjan Vahdat is highly restricted in performing in public in her home country, Iran. She met guitarist Jason Carter at the third Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul in November 2006, and they decided to meet again in Germany. 

In January 2007 they recorded ‘Navai’ in a room with a stereo pair of Neumann microphones plugged into Jason’s Mac computer.

“The communication that Marjan and I have in music is quite special. We discovered this during those moments in Istanbul. We love ‘Navai’ because we can hear the communication between ourselves, like we are ‘breathing’ at the same time, in the same places,” explains Jason Carter.

“As this is the first collaboration, I think we see this as the beginning of something for both of us. I think it is a wonderful beginning. If we can communicate like this with so little history in performing together, then I think we really have something to say to people through music.”

Click to read more about the initiative        Listen to ‘Navai’

Listen to the song - in mp3 format
Listen to ‘Navai’
 (Duration: 5:24)
Click to listen to the song

High resolution audio for broadcast – please note
This ‘Navai’ mp3 file is in low resolution (24 Kps) for instant listening online. If you are a radio broadcaster and would like to play the song in your radio programme, you will need it high resolution. Please contact to receive password for ftp server where you can download the high resolution (320 Kps, broadcast quality) version of the file.
Click to listen

Press info

Freemuse invites journalists and medias to participate in the project on 3 March 2007:  Music Freedom Day 2007 – press info

More information

Video interview with Marjan’s sister, Mahsa Vahdat:  
‘About music censorship in Iran’

Video interview with Jason Carter:  

‘About music and censorship in the Middle East’

Jason Carter’s official home page:

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About the lyrics of ‘Navai’

The lyrics of ‘Navai’ are written by Tabib Esfahani. In Persian, ‘Nava’ means ‘a beautiful voice’, maybe someone asking and calling it. And ‘Navai’ is a character who has a long story. The melody of ‘Navai’ belongs to the Khorasan region in Iran.

Translation of the lyrics:

1st verse:

    Sorrow lies deep in my heart,
    as Leyli sits majestically on Mahmal

(Mahmel is the seat that is used on camels in order to carry people. Leyli is Majnoon’s lover in Persian literature. This story has been used historically and symbolically in many forms in Persian literature. In this story there is a scene where Leyli is seated on the Mahmel, leaving Majnoon suddenly)

2nd verse:

    Please do not break my heart
    as it is like a wild bird
    and it may fly away
    and may not be able to return willingly

3rd verse:

(Majnoon says:)

    “When you follow the Mahmel
    try to move delicately
    as dust may spread and tarnish the Mahmel”

(where Leyli is sitting, leaving)

4th verse:

    As I follow the Mahmel
    I cry out in despair
    fearing that the camel
    may wander through muddy plains


Translated by Marjan Vahdat

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