In countries like Iran the public appearance of female singers is characterized by largest difficulties. Officially singing is possible only in private sphere, where women are alone or among themselves: at the cradle, at the housework and work in the fields or on women's celebrations. Maryam Akhondy - who had to leave Iran in 1986 - made it her business to bring traditional women’s songs back to life again. Over years she has been collecting songs. With these songs she wants to give a voice to the Persian women, who were not present with there songs on the stages of the concert-halls and music-festivals until now.
"Banu" (the Persian word for a noble or distinguished lady) is a kind of musical expedition to the different regions and cultures of Iran. Most of these songs are full of live and energy, being accompanied by various percussion-instruments. This is quite unusual for traditional Iranian music, which is often more serene and melancholic. But these old folk-songs are funny, ironic and give a view on the Iranian woman when she is in private.
This video shows some short impressions of "12 Years of Maryam Akhondy & Banu Anniversary Concert" on 29th January 2012. Venue was Stadtgarten concert hall in Cologne (Germany). 17 artists had been on stage. Special guests: Mariana Sadovska (Ukraine) and Waskhar Schneider (Germany) with their non-Iranian voices and instruments.