Babak Radmanesh, originally Azeri, was born in Tabriz (capital of Eastern Azerbaijan, Iran). He was a student of music, having studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Tehran University. He has been a musician (traditional and pop), composer, lyricist, poet, teacher, and a singer for over three decades. He is an expert and an instructor on instruments like tar, setar, santour, barbat (Oud), kamanche, tombak and ney. He also plays other instruments such as violin, piano and keyboard.
Maestros and Methods
His violin teachers included AbulHassan Saba during childhood, and Ali Tajwidi in adolescence. In Kamanche, he benefited from the teachings of Asghar Bahari. Babak Radmanesh’s method of playing and style of teaching his students -- which is shaped by the help of various instruments taught in distinct styles pertaining to individual artists, is as follows:
For Tar, he follows the school of Master Jalil Shahnaz and Master Farhang Sharif.
For Santour, he follows the school of the late Master Faramarz Payvar.
For Barbat/Oud, he follows the school of Master Mansour Nariman.
For Kamanche, he follows the school of his teacher Master Ali Asghar Bahari.
For violin, he follows the school of his teachers Master AbulHassan Saba and Master Ali Tajwidi.
For Tombak, he followed the school of Master Hossein Tehrani.
In reference to Master Radmanesh much can be said; whether in traditional music, pop music, or a combination of both, his heartfelt, engaging, and moral messages are indicative of his artistic abilities. In short he is a follower of the school of love and spirituality, faithful to principles and moral values, and devoted to purity and honesty.
As an artist who started his work during adolescence, he has been artistically and professionally active for approximately the past forty years. He has nevertheless refrained from holding interviews with any radio station or television program, and no photos of him have ever been published in a newspaper or a magazine Babak Radmanesh is multi-talented in the areas of music and poetry. He believes that such talents are not merely products of education or studies, rather they are innate and gifts bestowed by God.
Babak Radmanesh is amongst the rare group of artists who have worked in various fields of music, professionally in all styles, succeeded, and gained the attention and praise of listeners. He knows neither limits nor boundaries in his music, and if we are to compare the variety of musical styles and genres to a shape of a circle, then he has traveled on this circle endlessly. Working only in one area and with one style does not suffice him, hence leading to his continuous movement on this circular path. At his artistic front, we are bound to find Master AbulHassan Saba or Master Ali Asghar Bahari and other great musical personalities instilled. By the application of both modern and classical styles in his works, Babak Radmanesh has been able to revive, in a delicate and skillful manner, the great soul and awe of traditional music into the young framework of contemporary music. On the one hand his lyrics and songs have firmness and solidity, and on the other their delicacy and charm engage the listeners. He believes the touchstone of any positive artistic endeavor, like poetry and music, is three things:
1)Technique 2)Substance 3)Beauty
He says, “How beautiful it is that Divine Light exists in all the dimensions of a human’s life”. This principle resonates in most of his works. He believes any kind of music with lyrics should certainly contain a message, and not just any message, but a constructive one, like social or moral messages that elevate one’s soul or a pure message of love. He considers that music solely by itself does not play a major role in educating or nurturing a society, rather it is the lyrics in the music, whereby each word has the potential to influence and determine the culture of a society. Master Radmanesh compares music to a dish and its lyrics to the food. He says, “The shape or the material of the dish isn’t important, rather it is the food on the plate which can be either poisonous and kill or a remedy and cure”.
A glimpse of Ustad Babak Radmanesh’s expertise:
1) He specializes in different styles of Iranian music, traditional, folklore, pop, and composes professionally in all these three different genres.
2) He is exposed to all traditional Iranian instruments practically and academically, and is an expert instructor on them since 1980 till present-day. In addition to Iranian instruments, Babak Radmanesh can play other instruments like violin, piano and keyboard. It is noteworthy to mention that he plays all the instruments of his songs in the recording studio himself.
3) He is an erudite lyricist. His book of poetry called “Mahtabe Eshgh” was published in the second half of 2009 by the Badragheye Javidan Publications in Tehran.
4) Ustad Radmanesh, in addition to song-writing, is a singer who possesses a valuable voice and a thorough understanding of traditional Iranian musical devices (vocal and instrumental modes/ragas). He is skilled in sound-recognition and in creating the most apt melodies and lyrics for individual artists with distinct styles.
Efficacy of Babak Radmanesh’s Songs
Babak Radmanesh’s works which have been performed by different artists, are generally embedded in pure, sublime words and constructive messages, of which all are written by him.
He believes that in a song, the poetry or the words are far more significant than the melody, and that the words most directly influence the minds of the listeners, and whatever the music may be, it is the lyrics that reflect its character.
Ustad Radmanesh believes that Iran’s literature and poetry are more prominent internationally than its music. Iran, he considers, is also a land rich in literature and mysticism.
The fragrance of the words of great figures such as Mawlana, Saadi, Hafiz, and others, have perfumed the literature of many other countries aside from Iran’s, “so why should our songs be subjected to empty words and void of constructive messages?” he asks.
Based on this, his own poems in “Mahtabe Eshgh” relay:
The artist, is a teacher of society – Void of an aim, he is decay to society
If conscientious, he is the bird of felicity - If not, he is the cause of calamity
Glimpse of Works
Babak Radmanesh has numerous works both in traditional Iranian music and pop genres. He was active as a composer and a musician in “Seda O Sima” for ten years. Notable amongst his works in the early revolutionary period, while he resided in Iran, is is the composition of the film score for the feature film "Tobeye Nasooh." Babak Radmanesh has composed songs concerning education, the Imposed War (i.e. Iran-Iraq War) like “Khalabanan” performed by Jamshid, of which its lyrics are a combination of Farsi and Azeri and written by Babak Radmanesh himself. The song “Iran Ola Bashdan Basha Sangar” is sung by Babak Radmanesh in Azeri.
Early Revolutionary Songs:
Hossein Ke Bood Shapour Rahimi
Selah Ra Barmigirim by GholamHossein Ghadami
Ookhu Bolbol in Azeri by Yaghub Zurufchi
Ghalam Bardar by Babak Radmanesh
Otlobul Ilm by Golriz
Hami bir olsun in Azeri by Rashid Vatandoost
Dar Esgh Zendeh Bash, a poem of Mawlana/Rumi by Babak Radmanesh
Bogshai Lab, a poem of Mawlana/Rumi by Shapour Rahimi
Babak Radmaneshs' activites in the United Kingdom during the past three decades have generally been teaching as well as composing and writing lyrics for singers such as:
Homeira (three complete albums):
Khab o Khial album, including songs such as Khaterateh Shomal Mahale Yadam Bereh. Mahtabe Eshgh album, including songs such as Mahtabe Eshgh, Bi Niazi, Lahzeye Khodahafezi.
Moein: Gozashteh (Grieve not the pain of the past- What’s passed is past- Never by grieving, has the past returned), Khoshbini (Happy or Sad, life passes by…), Ey Esgh (I’m broken without you, in suffering and in punishment, Oh Love, Oh Love), etc.
Omid: Iraneh Man, Doostat Daram, To Mahshari, Ey Gol Royayi, Entezar, etc.
Shakilla: Charkh Gardoon.
Jamshid: Khosh Amadi, Man Ashegham, Tarkeh Ghorbat, Pak Sho, etc.
Pooya: Vatan Vatan, Aroose Arezooham, Bavaram Nemisheh, Man, Madar,
Mehrabooni, Ya Rabb, etc.
Soroush: Shogheh Nafas (One world, one world, I am in love), Safar, Mojezeh, etc.
A Glimpse of Ustad Babak Radmanesh’s Songs and Lyrics
During high school and adolescence:
If this is love- If this is life-I don’t want to see the face of the world (different singers)
During adulthood he discourages people from regretting the past:
Grieve not the pain of the past- What’s passed is past- Never by grieving, has the past returned
He advises Patriotism:
Home, Home is the murmur of my every night- Home’s name is the most beautiful word upon my lips
He recommends optimism to all:
Come, let’s see the world in hopeful light – Lets release the sorrows and bear glad tidings Moein
Separation pains him:
At the moment of departure – I pressed you against my chest
Tears streamed from my eyes – I left you in God’s care
And finally he reminds us of the instability of this world:
The Kings are gone, the palaces remain
The kings and beggars deceased, the world remains