Siyavash Doostkhah and Greta Kelly explore mystical music of Iran through acoustic traditions and electronic experiments.

Siyavash plays tanbur, an ancient, three-stringed instrument that originated in Khorasan in eastern Iran. Up until 50 years ago you would rarely hear it outside the Zekr or Djamm devotional gatherings of the Kurdish Sufis. The unique strumming patterns elicit thoughts of a bubbling stream, birds singing, horses galloping; reflecting the natural environment of the tanbur.

Conversely, Greta’s shah kaman is one of the most modern Persian instruments. Based on the ancient spike-fiddle, kamanche, the shah kaman was developed by Australian luthier, Peter Biffin in collaboration with Kayhan Kalhor, master of the Persian kamancheh . It’s five playing strings, seven sympathetic strings and a unique cone that acts as a resonator gives it a haunting resonance.

Zemzemeh augments these acoustic instruments with analogue and digital synthesisers, theremini (a digital theremin), violin, electric guitar, bass infused beats, looping and multi-effects to give a new interpretation of the ancient music.

Siyavash Doostkhah has studied traditional and mystical music of Iran that he integrates into electronic music which has been featured in theatre, documentaries, outdoor installations and music festivals. In early 90’s, Siyavash studied field recording and electroacoustic sound manipulation with renowned French musique concrète master, Rodolphe Blois at the Queensland Conservatorium. Siyavash is a founding member of world/electronic/experimental music outfit, Memory Loss.

Over the years Siyavash and Greta as Zemzemeh, have collaborated on a number of acoustic and electronic music projects including AmphiSonic, a recent sound installation for the World Science Festival, Brisbane.

Production Credits

  • Director: Robert Wiene
  • Script: Louis Nerz, Maurice Renard
  • Based on: the novel 'Les Mains d'Orlac' by Maurice Renard
  • Cinematographers: Hans Androschin, Günther Krampf
  • Cast: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Strassny
  • Print Source: Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna
  • Rights: Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna
  • Year: 1924
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Country: Austria
  • Language: German Intertitles
  • Subtitles: English
  • Colour: Black & White
  • Shooting Format: 35mm
  • Screening Format: Restored DCP