Monday, December 28, 2009

Is there reality at the other end of an email?

Back in February I wrote a piece which quoted a couple of blogs on the subjects of Afghanistan and Iran as a follow up to some reading and a viewing of Persepolis. I have an interest in both contemporary 'classical' music and mathematics so I was interested to see a blog about an Iranian composer/mathematician Keyvan Yahya. A couple of days ago that entry acquired an anonymous comment which suggested that Keyvan Yahya was not all he seemed, I went to the Wikipedia article which I had quoted and discovered that the mention of Keyvan Yahya had been removed around the same time as the comment was posted probably by someone from Iran. I initially gave the comment a rather dusty answer - my first guess was that the commenter (and possibly wikipedia editor, if they were one and the same) were likely to have Iranian government connections and they were trying, effectively, to un-person someone who might be deemed to be too Western influenced. However, doing some web searching just came up with rather similar biographical details, I also found that the Satrap Philharmonic Orchestra which Keyvan Yahya claimed to have founded had had its wikipedia page removed (the same day) with a note suggesting that it (the orchestra) might not exist.
I emailed the owner of On an Overgrown Path who blogs as 'Pliable' and he was similarly mystified. He's contacted the composer Jeff Harrington whose work was meant to have been performed who has had no feedback on the performance. Mike Roberts, a Canadian composer was also promised a performance by Keyvan Yahya, I'm still trying to find out whether anything has happened there.

I realise contacts betwwen Iran and the outside world due to the political situation have been a little problematic in the last few months but the situation is far from clear.

There's been a blog entry More questions than Answers at 'On an Overgrown Path' supplying more musical background than I can supply - I'd recommend a read there on foreign contacts who may not deliver what they promise! The Keyvan Yahya material comes about half way down that item. So if anyone knows of documented performances or mathematical papers by Keyvan Yahya, I'd be very interested!

(amarok's random play came up with the Parsi/English Sorabji's The Perfumed Garden - whilst I was composing this post, now there's an interesting coincidence!)


Anonymous said...

Why did you think that I'm an Iranian government agent?! I just care about the reputation of the music of my country. I myself play cello and am impressed with classical music.

Anonymous said...

Besides, Iranian government are now busy doing more important things (killing and arresting people) than commenting about some retard!

rajm said...

Oh indeed :-(
I suppose I wanted to believe the story and so was looking for motives on your part, apologies.

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted! If it helps, this user: has voted for the deletion of Keyvan Yahya's Wikipedia page on the Persian section.

musicdolombe said...

one of the keyvan yahya's article in association with one of the greatest professors in iran.

rajm said...

Thank you! Looks like you meant paper_( - original link is broken.