Fields of Evin is one of the pieces on my recital program next March. The title of the piece is a reference to a neighborhood in Tehran. Located at the foothills of Alborz Mountain north of Tehran, Evin is most famous for its notorious Evin prison, but is also filled with orchards and gardens of old houses. The piece is inspired by the prison and incorporates an Iranian folk tune called “Baroon Barooneh”.
The idea of the piece is loosely based on my childhood memory and the first time I heard and learned Baroon Barooneh. I was about five or six, and my family was in our car driving in Tehran. My parents told my sister and I that we’d be giving ride to a friend of my parents. Before arriving there, my parents vaguely explained to us that the friend has been in prison for a long time because of his political activities. When we picked him up, he sat in the backseat with us. To lighten the mood and change the subject from his time in prison, he started teaching us this tune. Even at that young age the name "Evin" was familiar to me and his story, Evin and Baroon Baroone became one in my mind.
I feel like the same way that I inherited beautiful folk tunes such as baroon baroone, I also inherited the ugly side of the political struggles of the region. I am grateful for my friend Andrew Clark for composing this piece based on the story, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you on my recital.
[The picture is of the Evin Prison at the foothill of the mountain, secluded and hidden by the orchards.]