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Sheida Gharachedaghi & Mohammad Reza Aslani 'Chess of the Wind' LP

Sheida Gharachedaghi & Mohammad Reza Aslani 'Chess of the Wind' LP

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The lost soundtrack to Chess of the Wind, Iran’s banned 1976 queer-gothic-class-horror masterpiece, restored by the director and released for the first time. Not for the faint of heart!

A masterpiece of world cinema, Mohammad Reza Aslani’s Chess of the Wind was banned in Iran and thought to be lost until a complete print of the film re-emerged in an antique shop in 2014. Restored by Martin Scorcese’s Film Foundation and released to rapturous reviews in 2020, Chess of the Wind has taken its rightful place as one of the most visionary and daring films of pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema.

The film’s soundtrack, by one of the nation’s most revered female composers, Sheida Gharachedaghi, is just as daring – a combination of Persian classical instrumentation and atonal dissonance drawn from her Western conservatory background. Woodwinds, traditional Persian percussion, and the eerie moan of the ancient sheypour horn reflect the film’s battle between feudalism and modernity. As one scholar said, it sounds like “Ornette Coleman visiting a holy shrine in Iran.”

For this release, the director and composer worked with film scholar Gita Aslani Shahrestani to reimagine and restore the music, combining it with work from another (as yet unreleased) Aslani/Gharachedaghi project “Therefore Hangs A Tale.” The result is two side-length sound collages, a new sonic work that Aslani had long dreamt of creating. The work is a legible sonic journey that speaks to the film’s feminist themes, tracing a long battle for freedom in Iran from the early 20th century through today’s Women Life Freedom Movement.

Mississippi is proud to release a major work by two of Iran’s most prominent and overlooked artists. The release comes with 8 full-size pages of liner notes and stills from the film, including song translations and an in-depth history by Gita Aslani Shahrestani. First edition of 1000 copies, on black or amber-coloured vinyl.


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