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Womex 15 Award Ceremony held in Budapest
 

براي بزرگنمايي کليک کنيد

Ramin Sadighi officially receives the Womex 2015, Professional Excellence Award presented by Dr. Laudan Nooshin (City University London)







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Laudatio by ِDr. Laudan Nooshin: (City University London): 

 Musicians, Artists, Producers. Friends. 

  I am deeply honored and humbled to be presenting the 2015 WOMEX Professional Excellence Award to Mr Ramin Sadighi. I believe that WOMEX has shown great foresight in giving this award to a man who – I think it is no exaggeration to say – has changed the face of music production in Iran, setting new standards, challenging stereotypes and opening new musical spaces. 

  As someone who has been involved with Iranian music for more than 30 years, I am grateful for this opportunity to publicly thank Ramin - and Hermes, the label that he founded 16 years ago. And, of course, this award is also intended to recognize all of those working in the independent music sector in Iran, and to pay tribute to their amazing resilience and creativity. And, given the overwhelmingly negative media representations of Iran, it’s all the more important to have such moments of recognition. 

  I first became aware of Hermes about 10 years ago when I reviewed an album called Endless Vision for Songlines magazine. This was a wonderful collaboration between two musical giants - Hossein Alizadeh from Iran and Djivan Gasparyan from Armenia, and which went on to receive a Grammy nomination. This was my first taste of Hermes’ bridge-building activities which included publishing the first non-English edition of So
nglines – in Persian - in 2008. And the more I discovered about Hermes, the more it became clear to me that it was not your average recording company. 

 When I finally got to meet Ramin and visit his office in Tehran, I immediately got a sense of his energy, commitment and vision – his meticulous organisation – and his modesty – and such a positive attitude in the face of the inevitable complexities of navigating the things that a music producer in Iran has to navigate. 

   So when I got a phone call from Ben Mandelson this summer asking what I knew about Hermes, I was delighted to be able to report on my experiences - although I had no idea then that Ramin was being considered for this award. So let me tell you what I told Ben and why I believe that Ramin and Hermes are so special and deserving of this award:
  When I think of Hermes, four words come to mind: Vision. Quality. Integrity. Trust. 
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  Hermes’ work is visionary and boundary-breaking. Above all, it has provided a space for supporting, promoting the work of, and creating an audience for music which crosses boundaries of many kinds, musical and cultural. Hermes has set new standards of quality for music production in Iran, from the music itself, the presentation of albums, the many concerts at home and abroad – and in particular bringing musicians to Iran; and numerous events such as discussion and listening sessions and film screenings. Hermes is much more than a record label – it has created a community around this music. 

 And integrity and trust because Ramin has a built up a very special relationship with the artists with whom he works. He has a way of engendering trust
 which, for all kinds of reasons is, in my experience quite rare in the music scene in Iran. Just as important as what Hermes does
 is what it doesn’t do: First, Hermes resists the exoticizing seen in so much representation of Iranian music abroad, either as a relic of an ancient past or as something extraordinary and unusual. In refusing to capitalize on this, Hermes instead insists on the normalization of music coming out of Iran. Second, Hermes avoids presenting its artists as victims – something which is again seen so often in the context of Iranian music. What I like most about Hermes is the absence of dogma: their focus in on the music; their slogan - ‘music for music’ – says it all.  

 And so, Ramin, I salute you and thank you for your vision, your integrity, your sheer determination and dedication - and your humanity. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating Mr Ramin Sadighi.


     
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