Golshifteh Farahani Playing Hang - The Sounds of My Sweet Pepper Land

We might not have too many bona-fide celebrity ambassadors championing the small but growing world of Handpan, at time of posting.  But those that we do have, we hold dearly.  As it is with Iranian actress, musician, and singer, Golshifteh Farahani - who to date has appeared in twenty-five movies, and counting - including alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, in the 2008 released, “Body of Lies” (in which she became the first Iranian actress to appear in a Hollywood film since the 1979 revolution). And you'll also find her in the upcoming 2017 instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “Dead Men Tell No tales”.  Additionally, if you’re not ill-at-ease with paddling out into the pools of world-cinema from time-to-time, it is here that you’ll arguably find Golshifteh shine brightest.  In movies such as “The Pear Tree”, in which she first gained attention at the age of fourteen, before going on to become widely considered to be Iran’s biggest movie star (before later being banished from her home country for her art), and “My Sweet Pepper Land” a movie we’ll discuss a little more below, which, to our knowledge, featured  the Hang / Handpan’s very first foray onto the big-screen, anywhere, ever.

But first, here's a recent video of Golshifteh performing on her seemingly-beloved PANArt Integral Hang...

The Integral Hang

Golshifteh Farahani’s instrument of choice to date has always been an Integral Hang, from the original Swiss-makers, PANArt (and there are a number of videos of her performing upon it around the web). Offered-up by PANArt circa 2008, the Integral Hang are darker, and rougher, than the Second-Generation Hang that preceded them.  And in accordance with PANArt’s previous moves to reduce the number of sound-models they offered, the Integral Hang was made available in only one tuning (D3 Ding with seven notes A3, Bb3, C4, D4, E4, F4, and A4 surrounding it in the Tone Circle).

My Sweet Pepper Land

Unfortunately, despite really wanting to give this movie a proper viewing, we’ve never been able to find a copy with English subtitles (despite the trailer above having them).  Which kind of forced us to make up our own dialogue for the characters as we went along - and whether that made for a better, or worse film than is officially scripted, it’s difficult to say.  My Sweet Pepper Land is essentially a Spaghetti-Western set in Iran, with an interesting cast of characters, an enjoyable cinematic-style, and of course for us, most importantly in this instance, several Hang performances, and more Hang music sprinkled in between, setting the mood.

Unless you’re the sort of Singing-steel fan who sees Handpan in the sky, and among the trees, and wants to watch this movie purely to catch the Hang’s cinematic debut, unless you either speak Kurdish, and/or read French, you probably won't find too much of interest in My Sweet Pepper Land.  However, that said, Golshifteh Farahani’s performance was captivating.  And just perhaps, we’ll see Golshifteh, and her Hang, centre-stage alongside the ever-popular, Captain Jack Sparrow, come 2017(?)...

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