Kayhan Kalhor: Songs of Hope
Filmed in Karaj, Iran and New York City, "Songs of Hope" explores the life and music of Kayhan Kalhor, a master of the kamancheh, or Persian spike fiddle. The love he showed for the instrument as a child led him to the life as a prodigy who left Iran in 1981 after the 1979 Islamic Revolution so he could continue his musical studies. He is renowned as a soloist and composer and as a founder and member of several ensembles, including Yo-Yo Ma s Silk Road Ensemble, with which we see him rehearsing one of his compositions in the film. In 1997 he returned to Iran to renew his connections to his homeland and to teach a new generation of musicians, while establishing a life with his wife. His existence was that of a prolific, peaceful, globetrotting musician. Iran s June 2009 election shocked and invigorated the nation and the world, and Kayhan believed in the will of his people. The film ends with an impassioned performance he gave in NY in September 2009 entitled "Songs of Hope," which he dedicated to the people of Iran.