|Friends gather to celebrate release of Ahmadi’s “Voice of Old Tehran 2”||
“Voice of Old Tehran” and its sequel comprise folk songs, which were popular among the citizens of the old Tehran.
The album has been released by the Beethoven Cultural Institute, a major Iranian recording company and the organizer of the ceremony, which was accompanied with speeches by a number of cultural figures.
“He deserves to be entitled ‘the grandfather of Tehran citizens’ and he likes people to call him by this title,” institute director Babak Chamanara said during a short speech.
“All artists and cultural figures are indebted to master Ahmadi. Many happy memories were rekindled by the redo of old songs about the culture of Tehran. This work confirms the strong identity of the people live in this city,” IAF director Majid Sarsangi stated.
“I have been influenced by Morteza Ahmadi since childhood. The efforts he made to collect the folk culture of Tehran are admirable,” veteran film critic Jamshid Arjmand noted.
“Once upon a time we were very proud of the beautiful Shimiran mountains (in the north of Tehran), which were easily visible from wherever you were in the city,” Ahmadi said.
“Unfortunately, today, the towers and high rise buildings that mushroomed everywhere in the city do not let you see the mountains,” he lamented.
“I know that I am not the best grandfather of the world. But, I have dedicated my life to my daughter, grandson and my wife – what all fathers do,” he added.
The ceremony went on with a nostalgic speech by young actor Babak Hamidian.
“My Tehran has been in a coma since a long time ago. How good it was for you that your Tehran tasted like the saffron ice cream (of this city). My Tehran is an image of nonstop chaos and I am sorry that my neighbor and I remember nothing from this Tehran to tell posterity,” he said.
“In your Tehran, if someone had a bicycle, he would not deny others the use of it. But, in modern Tehran, life and youth belong to those who are born wealthy. How good for us to have ‘Pinocchio’ from you and how bad for our children to set fire to city such as what occurs in the ‘Spider-man’ films… Dear Mr. Ahmadi, I wish that my Tehran was similar to your Tehran,” Hamidian added.
Ahmadi cut his birthday cake and unveiled copies of “Voice of Old Tehran 2” at the end of the ceremony.
Ahmadi has appeared in over 30 films and has also voiced many animation characters over his 69 years of career. He is famous for his voice, which is the voice of the sly fox that tricks Pinocchio.
In 2008, he gave a rhythmic voiceover narration to “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who”, a production of 20th Century Fox.
Ahmadi is one of the few artists who possess expertise in Iran’s traditional theatrical performances such as ru-hozi, pardekhani, siah-bazi, which are usually accompanied by a rhythmic narration and tonbak music. These performances have been neglected over the past three decades.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader