What makes Daniel’s music so riveting is its ability to educate and challenge the ear while also providing small fragments of classical familiarity. His vocal music is always technically challenging, melismatic, romantic, and organic. His song “Khaham keh bar zolfat” challenges our ear with Farsi, an unfamiliar language to most of us, but also provides us with strings of beautiful Persian sounds and language patterns. Even though I don’t speak Farsi, my experience in listening to his music makes me feel as though I have heard it my entire life. His music brings out essential concepts and emotions central to Sufism, the all-encompassing desire of intimacy and unification. These concepts, when considered, though well-articulated in Sufism, are really central to all human experience and, therefore, illicit an emotional response that every listener can immediately relate to. Daniel also seamlessly spins in harmonic and motivic elements that incorporate elements that sound Baroque and jazzy. These small elements give the American audience a musical familiarity which constantly engages cultural relationships. Daniel’s music could not be more fitting for Hyphenated-Americans in that it always seems to exhibit his own personal heart, experiences, and mind in extraordinary ways.
Daniel Sabzghabaei: Khaham keh bar zolfat (2016) from Four Glimpses of Desire