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Jamshied Sharifi

One (Ceres)

Your stomach grumbles as the office clock ticks slowly toward lunch hour. A co-worker is oblivious to the racket made by her speakerphone, and her fave totally-Eighties radio station has played Madonna so many times you feel your mind will go straight over the borderline. At your wit's end, you sneak over to the stereo and slip in that random CD of an Iranian-American guy from Kansas who does some kinda world beat. Who cares if everybody else thinks it's some new-agey shit, you say to yourself.

Thanks to Berklee College of Music graduate Jamshied Sharifi and his album, One, there is a sudden magical transformation. The distractions fade as Sharifi's breath-controlled synthesizer sweeps you off your feet and up toward the sky, soaring above wheat fields, then to deserts and faraway oases. Middle Eastern percussion fuels the momentum of this emotional journey, continuously stirred and soothed by mysterious male and female vocals that at times seem to venture toward India or Central Africa. In the manner of an IMAX movie, your mind rolls along sand dunes and through piercing blue skies as the songs climax and calm one after another in deep meditation. The last number fades and you slowly regain consciousness. Dazed and confused, you wonder if you have been hypnotized by a cobra or fallen asleep on your yoga mat, but your officemate shakes you out of it. "Hey, what happened to that cool Arab music? Put that shit back on!"

 
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