In December 2012, the exceptional harpist, composer and singer Asita Hamidi passed away. Less than a month before, she was still deeply involved in preparations for the premiere of Garden of Silence, a repertoire she had developed together with Björn Meyer.
A long awaited project with the quartet 'Asita Hamidi's Bazaar’, existing since 1996, and other outstanding musicians from Switzerland, Sweden, Iran and Egypt. Due to her health condition it had to be cancelled already after the first rehearsal days. As a tribute to Asita, concerts were held in Bern and Teheran in 2013.
Since then Björn Meyer has continuously added new influences to Garden of Silence and further developed the repertoire.
Ten years after the original date, the world premieres of the complete work are now to be performed in Switzerland in December 2022. A new beginning to let this remarkable music be heard in its unique instrumentation.
Asita Hamidi and Björn Meyer, who met through their deep musical connection in 1996, spent fifteen years of close collaboration developing the incomparable sound of ‘Asita Hamidi’s Bazaar’. Inspired by their oriental and Scandinavian roots, deeply connected to the expressive aesthetics and ornamentations from north and south, they created their very own musical language.
Garden of Silence takes this musical vision even further. Bringing together influences from the supposedly different cultural backgrounds it resonates and comes to life with extraordinary voices, bass mandola, violin, cello, percussion and traditional instruments like the Armenian duduk and the Swedish nyckelharpa.
For several years, Asita and Björn traveled to Iran, Sweden and Egypt regularly to develop the music with local master musicians — Reza Askarzadeh in Iran, Emilia Amper in Sweden and Mohamed Samy in Egypt. This continuous exchange has resulted in longterm musical relations and deep friendships, which are as much a part of the repertoire as is the composed material.
Music as a universal language, an unforgettable experience — intense and dynamic
Björn Meyer (S,CH) Comp., Bs., Bass-Mandola
Emilia Amper (S) Nyckelharpa
Bruno Amstad (CH) Voc, Human Sound effects
Reza Asgarzadeh (Iran) Duduk
Kaspar Rast (CH) Dr.,Perc.
Carlo Niederhauser (CH) Cello
Veronika Stalder (CH) Voc.
Mohamed Samy (EGY) Violin