Makan Ashgvari is a singer-songwriter, actor, director and teacher living and working in Tehran. As a singer he has been performing with rock bands such as Dash, with the jazz band Naima and with the independent experimental music band Bomrani. He has worked with theatre directors such as Sajad Afsharian or Hamid Pourazari and directed his own theater productions with musicians and actors. He started giving concerts with the guitar player Amir Saremi from 2013, their live video “Nahang” becoming a hit, their album was released in 2016. Ashgvari is the founder of “Otaghkar”, a platform for amateur music. Makan Ashgvari will perform at Acud on March 8th 2018.
1. I envy John Cage. He did everything… He did it all.
2. I’m in love with Tehran. I wrote most of my love songs for my city.
3. The most important thing for a human being is his/her relations
with other human beings.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Culture is my biggest inspiration. When I was born the sounds and music around me varied from Iranian classical music to Jazz, Folk and cheesy pop. Also the noises, the crowded Tehran, bombing alarms, my mom singing… I find kind of impossible to track your inspirations, but culture is too strong to be ignored.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I think I was 6 or 7 when my parents bought me a very small Casio synthesizer. Also we had a mini tape recorder… You can guess whathappens next.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Oh NO that QUESTION! I don’t know… at the time I can think of these:
1. Wild is the wind by Nina Simone
2. Silent City by Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor
3. Overgrown by James Blake
4. I am a bird now by Antony and the Johnsons
5. Lateralus by TOOL
(Kill me so I don’t read this ever in my whole life)
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
My friends… The history… The multi cultural urban reminds me of Tehran… The music you hear… But most important, Berlin is like a caravanserai for me… You see the other travelers!
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
There is a music hall just under the Azadi square… Under the ground. It’s like a black box, a very historical one, with a glassy roof. When you are there it feels like you are in a submarine, under the sea of Tehran. I love to play there… always my favorite venue.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I tried to make it! And I would have died trying…
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Three thousand eight hundred and thirty one, by Yasaman Mashhouri
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Cat Power in Berlin… 2016
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology has two sides for me: A friend and an enemy. Both so important! The first one to hang out with, and the second one, to fight!
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a sister who is one of the best art managers of Iran. She is my most important consultant, and she seems pretty pleased with what I do!