Photo by Barry Wallace
Tars being built, restored and played in King City
I drove by a house today, very close to mine, where a man, in the open garage, appeared to be holding some kind of musical instrument. I stopped and introduced myself and discovered this neighbour was restoring (see photo above) a musical instrument of Persian origin, called a tar. The gentleman's name was Hussein and it turned out he plays, makes, repairs and restores these interesting stringed instruments with their unique and voluptuous body shape. The particular instrument above is made of mulberry wood, has six strings and is akin to a lute, said Hussein. His mother introduced him to the tar as a child and he has been playing for 35 years. I was delighted when he asked me if I would like to hear it played. He played it for a few minutes and I was musically transported to the other side of the world to some mystical enclave of Persia. It was a brilliant moment. I thought afterward how I had first driven by the scene without stopping, but turned around and went back to meet this man. I'm so glad I did.
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