..Momma always told me :: If you wish it be then it will.. ..I am the dust, I am the ash..
The untold story of monumental artist and humanitarian Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian, hailed by NPR as "one of the 50 greatest voices of all time" and by the Wall Street Journal as "the most important Iranian cultural figure of the last 3 decades."
A few years ago, my dear father began sitting with friends for what would eventually turn into this documentary film. I contributed a small part, in the song at the very end. Today, on his birthday, his legacy and message of peace and equality is needed now, more than ever. May his song and story ring loud and true. ✨🕊✨ --Mojgan Shajarian
When Iran's ayatollah banned music and performances in the entire country, instruments and records became contraband, and artists were exiled, imprisoned, or executed. As the new government began to crush basic human rights, Maestro Shajarianrisked everything to confront the regime, singing truth to power and uniting the country in a chorus of millions strong.
His life-long pursuit of equality through art is immortalized for generations to come, through his majestic, soaring vocals and lyrics. His internationally renowned hymn, "MORGHE SAHAR" (Bird of Dawn), performed at the finale of all his concerts, is widely considered the Unofficial National Anthem for Iranian Freedom.
The movie title refers to Maestro Shajarian's message from the 2009 human rights protests, when the President of Iran referred to the protesters as “merely dust and ash” to which Shajarian boldly and publicly responded, “then I am voice of dust and ash.”
Original song “DUST & ASH”
Performed by J. RALPH & NORAH JONES featuring MOJGAN SHAJARIAN.
Music & Lyrics written by by three time Academy Award Nominated Composer J. RALPH (From The Voice Of Dust And Ash Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The significance of Mojgan Shajarian's solo performance as the crescendo of the song, is not simply a creative decision, but rather a moment of bold activism. To this day, solo female artists are forbidden to record or perform publicly in Iran. This same brazen act is what saw her previously exiled from her country. The team originally planned on creating a collaboration with Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian but he tragically passed away before that could be completed. The film's finale featuring the song sees the proverbial torch passed from the man who was considered "the Voice of Iran", to his daughter.
“Dust & Ash” was written to honor his life's work and to support the people of Iran with a hymn of solidarity. As "Dust & Ash" plays as the finale of the film over an animated sequence of never before seen footage of Iran, it is central to the films narrative. As speech and lyrics are extremely censored in the country, the lyrics are visually presented on screen, front and center as the climax of the film.
The chorus of the song incorporatesShajarian's message from the 2009 human rights protests, when the President of Iran referred to the protesters as “merely dust and ash” to which Shajarian boldly and publicly responded, “then I am voice of dust and ash.”
“DUST & ASH” performed by J. RALPH & NORAH JONES
Music & Lyrics by three time Academy Award® nominated composer J. Ralph from the feature documentary “THE VOICE OF DUST AND ASH” directed by Mandana Biscotti.
"Dust & Ash" produced, Engineered and Mixed by J. Ralph / Additional Engineering & Music Editing by Ali Soleimani Noori / Recorded in Malibu & New York.
Featuring Special Performances by MOJGAN SHAJARIAN & DAVID GARZA
"DUST & ASH" Performed By J. RALPH & NORAH JONES - Original Song From The Voice Of Dust & Ash SNDTRK
Directed by first time Iranian American director, Mandana Biscotti, the film is a definitive exploration of Maestro Shajarian's music and lyrics which coincide with Iran's watershed moments in history. His story is a microcosm of Iran's history and how it got to where it is today.
The film features the original song "DUST and ASH" - with Music and Lyrics by three time Academy Award® nominated composer J. Ralph and performed by J. Ralph and nine time Grammy® winning artist Norah Jones featuring a solo by Mojgan Shajarian, the film subject's daughter.