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Birds of Passage

Hassidic Nigguns meet Persian folk songs

"Floating Tower celebrates world heritage of Jewish music."

 Matt Robinson

The Jewish Journal


A collaboration between Parham Haghighi (Iran) and Mátti Kovler (Israel), Birds of Passage explores the surprising links between Persian and Jewish folklore. These ties are manifest in traditional artistic song: from traditional Persian music to Hassidic Nigguns.


The performance is a unique artistic tribute to the work of two outstanding composers of the 20th century, who adapted and synthesized traditional folk materials with art music: Morteza Neydavood and Andre Hajdu.



Born and raised in Mashhad, Iran, a major oasis of culture along the ancient Silk Road, Parham Haghighi is a versatile, fast-rising contemporary musician. Growing up in a family rich with Persian musical tradition in a time of globalization, his musical path leads him from Iranian music to Jazz. A recipient of Berklee College of Music “Outstanding Achievement Award", Haghighi has been active as a vocalist, pianist, arranger and educator across Iran and the US. Parham participated in several larger Floating Tower productions as a featured soloist, including Quill of the Soul, The King's Ear and Seekers of Light.

Described as an "estimable operatic composer in the making” (New York Times) Mátti Kovler is a Russian-born Israeli composer and creator of new music theatre works. Kovler’s music has been commissioned by Tanglewood, the Carnegie Hall and the Israel Festival. His works have been performed by the Israel Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands) and many others. He is the founder and artistic director of Floating Tower.



Parham Haghighi, voice and Mátti Kovler, piano, perform the Hassidic Niggun Tzama Lekha Nafshi. Featuring members of Floating Tower.

Boston University Tsai Concert Hall, 2015




Together, Parham and Mátti bring their musicality and infectious enthusiasm to celebrate the traditional music of Iran and Israel – its history, diversity and common ground– revealed through the unifying process of collaborative composition. During of the workshop the musicians unravel some of its mysteries, for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. 


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