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Lullabies: A Vocal Workshop with Mahsa Vahdat

  • Silk Road House 1944 University Avenue Berkeley, CA, 94704 United States (map)

Lullabies are the most simple and pure musical expressions of love. These melodies convey a sense of comfort and security between a mother (or father or other caretaker) to a vulnerable child. 

Lullabies are fundamental to across cultures. They have been handed down orally from family to family, generation to generation, and have travelled from country to country as people have migrated across borders. Colored by the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and geographical and political situation of every place in which they are sung, these gentle yet powerful songs  develop and transform as they are passed on from singer to singer.

After participating in the Lullabies from the Axis of Evil project  in 2003, lullabies  became important part of Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat’s musical repertory in her albums and performances. In this workshop Mahsa will share lullabies she learned from her grandmother as well as cradle songs from a variety of Persian regional folk traditions, reshaped with her own creative musical expression and interpretation. 

As part of this workshop, all participants are also asked to prepare and share a lullaby that holds special meaning for them.

Registration is limited to 15 participants and open to singers of all backgrounds and levels. 

Born in Tehran in 1973, Mahsa Vahdat began studying piano and Persian singing from an early age. She also learned to play the setar, a traditional Persian stringed instrument. Mahsa entered the University of Arts in Tehran in 1993, graduating with a B.A. in Music. Since 1995, Mahsa has performed and taught as an independent artist in concerts and festivals in Asia, Europe, the US, and Africa, and has collaborated with numerous musician from many continents. She performs regularly in a vocal duet with her sister, Marjan Vahdat. 

Following her participation in the 2004 Lullabies from the Axis of Evil, recording project, Mahsa started a long partnership with the Norwegian record label Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) which has led to worldwide release of a series of critically acclaimed albums. Since 2007, Mahsa has been an ambassador for the Freemuse Organization, an independent international organization that advocates for freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. In 2010, Mahsa Vahdat was granted the Freemuse Award.

Recently, Mahsa released an award-winning new solo a cappella album entitled "The Sun Will Rise." "Placeless" a new recording with Kronos Quartet and Marjan Vahdat was released this month on the KKV label.

For more information about Mahsa Vahdat, visit