Singer/songwriter Ariana Delawari just debuted her liberating new video for “Be Gone Taliban” on IFC.com this week Directed by Delawari herself, the video served to be both a fantasy and allegory for the plight of women under the radical Islamist group’s oppressive belief system. “When we recorded this song I imagined it as a modern ballet.,” Delawari said, “I wanted the video to celebrate everything the Taliban has attempted to destroy — music, art, women, dance, and the future of Afghan girls.”
Currently, the multi-media artist is finishing up a documentary she filmed about the country’s plight during the recording of her Lion of Panshir album in Afghanistan. After successfully raising funds via kickstarter for the film last fall, the film is now finished and we can look forward to its debut soon. More details to be announced.
More than just the debut album from a gifted young storyteller, Ariana Delawari’s “Lion of Panjshir” is a psychedelic folk journey with a very interesting story behind it. Recorded in both Kabul and Los Angeles, Delawari’s own guitar, piano and vocal melodies are soaked in classical Afghan rhythms and echoes of Laurel Canyon Rock & Roll. Delawari delivers a fresh and impassioned sound that exudes a universal spirit.
Delawari’s choice to record “Lion of Panjshir” in Afghanistan came with a phone call in February 2007: “It was my mother from Kabul telling me that the Taliban was starting to gain power again,” she says. As part of a reconstruction effort, Delawari’s parents had returned to Afghanistan in 2002; she herself had been going back and forth since then, diligently documenting her travels in photographs and film. The call though, signaled what might be a last opportunity for her: “At this particular moment I had the feeling that things were shifting—that I may never have the chance to record there again.” Three months later her and bandmates Max Guirand and Paloma Udovic found themselves at her parents house in Kabul. Under the protection of two guards (with AK 47s), they recorded the album right in the Delawari household. They collaborated with three Afghan Ustads: a tabla player, a rabab player, and an 88-year-old dilruba player, the last living master of this instrument. Under previous Taliban rule these talented musicians had once dismantled and hid their instruments due to a ban on music. Delawari and her band spent several days rehearsing and recording with them. The album was then finished in Los Angeles, featuring additional guest musicians and mixed by David Lynch. The album also includes one song “Suspend Me” produced by Lynch himself.