Mystery of Love
Catalog no. Kereshmeh Records KCD-109


Tar, Setar, and Vocals by Mohammad Reza Lotfi
Tombak, Daf, and Vocals by Mohammad Ghavihelm

Cover Design by Farshid Mesghali


"Mr. Lotfi is a great musician.
He pours his intense, astonishing music into the spiritual ear.
(Robert Bly)

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Lotfi - Mystery of Love


This live recording of Persian mystical music based on the poems of Rumi and Hafez is an exquisite album of power and beauty. Featuring Mohammad Reza Lotfi on tar, setar, and vocals, and Mohammad Ghavihelm on tombak and [instrument=daf]daf, this is a deeply inspired and soulful work. What is readily apparent is the depth of emotion and spirituality that this music conveys. With an introduction by Robert Bly, the liner notes incorporate translations of the poems by Coleman Barks, Gertrude Bell and Arthur J. Arberry, and include explanations about the music by Mohammad Reza Lotfi.

In the first piece, Mahur, Lotfi sings the poetry of the great Sufi mystics to commune with his supreme Love. The music starts in a meditative mood and gradually progresses into sheer bliss and ecstasy. The second piece, Dashti, is inspired by Lotfi's childhood memories of Gorgan in the North of Iran, and evokes imageries of the Caspian landscape and nature.

Lotfi is one of the first musicians to have revived the ancient techniques of setar playing in its classical form. The techniques used by Lotfi are those that serve the music and enable him to express his creativity and message. Thus, his technical excellence and diversity are not an end in themselves but tools to express best what comes from the heart. This recording is a testimony to Lotfi's current approach to music and his sense of aesthetics.

There is no doubt that this long-awaited new work is a true piece of art. Lotfi's emotionally-exalted performance stirs strong emotions in the listener. It is music not just to be heard, but felt. And what makes this work even more special is that the spiritual essence and devotional beauty of Lotfi's work is finally captured by an excellent quality recording. It is an album that will find its rightful place among many Persian and world music lovers collections.