"These recordings...were made by a young curtain maker named Mohammad Taqi Noei-Asgarnia. Born in Tehran in 1938, Noei-Asgarnia loved new technology. His passion led him to purchase a Korting MT-153 Reel to Reel tape recorder, one of the first portable recorders on the international market. He not only used his recorder to preserve audio from the radio, but he also recorded the voices of his family, friends, and neighbors.
...While he lived in Tehran, he also had relatives in Qazvin, a city about 150 km/93 miles north of Tehran. During Muharram, he visited his family and participated in the ritual mourning, whose melodies and rhythms filled the streets of the city. One year in the early 1960s, he took his Korting recorder with him.
These recordings are mostly from Sham-i Ghariban, “the Night of Strangers,” which marks the night after Ashura and the martyrdom of Husayn. He recorded the processions that marched in the streets, together with their drums and flutes (which have now been replaced by trumpets), as well as the preachers and their crying congregants. In the recordings, one can hear the preachers’ prayers for the “King of Islam,” Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as well as prayers for his soldiers, referred to as “the Mujahideen of Islam.” These prayers also draw on Iran’s recent history, such as its occupation during WWII, asking God to “protect our honor from the claws of foreigners.” -Ali Karjoo-Ravary, "Shi'i Rituals in Pahlavi Iran: Audio Recordings from the Ajam Archive"
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