Zemzemeh juxtapose ancient Persian music with modern electronica creating a rich, contemporary, cross-cultural zeitgeist. 


Zemzemeh’s unique sound draws on haunting folk traditions blended with experimental, electronic imaginings that firmly plants their music in the contemporary. Rosie Hays, GOMA

Siyavash Doostkhah and Greta Kelly explore sufi poetry and mystical music of Iran through acoustic traditions infused with concepts of love and harmony.  Their work also brings issues of contemporary Iran to the fore through rap and electronica, and dance tunes with beats and samples.

Siyavash plays tanbur, an ancient, three-stringed instrument that originated in Khorasan in eastern Iran.  Up until 50 years ago you would rarely hear it outside the Zekr or Djamm devotional gatherings of the Kurdish Sufis. The unique strumming patterns elicit thoughts of a bubbling stream, birds singing, horses galloping; reflecting the natural environment of the tanbur.

Conversely, Greta’s shah kaman is one of the most modern Persian instruments.  Based on the ancient spike-fiddle, kamanche, the shah kaman was developed by Australian luthier, Peter Biffin in collaboration with Kayhan Kalhor, master of the Persian kamancheh . It’s five playing strings, seven sympathetic strings and a unique cone that acts as a resonator gives it a haunting resonance.

Zemzemeh augments these acoustic instruments with analogue and digital synthesisers, theremini (a digital theremin), violin, bass infused beats, looping and multi-effects to give a new interpretation of the ancient poetry.

Upcoming Gigs

Zemzemeh @ GOMA
Cinema A – The Hands of Orlac

Sun 19 May 2024 – 11AM

Past Gigs

Zemzemeh @ Balkan Boogie with Greshka
It’s Still a Secret

Thurs 25 Jan 2024 – 7PM

Zemzemeh @ Oscillo Scape 22
Alchemix Recording Studios

Fri 8 December 2023 – 7:30PM

Zemzemeh @ Cave Inn
47 Balaclava St Wooloongabba

Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 – 7:30PM

Zemzemeh @ Songs of Hope
QPAC Concert Hall

Tuesday, 6 June 2023 – 7PM

Zememeh @ City Symphony
GOMA Cinema A

Sunday, 30 April 2023 – 11AM

AmphiSonics @ World Science Festival
South Bank Parklands

Friday, 24 June 2022 – Sunday, 10 July 2022


Review of Zemzemeh at GOMA’s City Symphony Film Series
City Symphony Live Music & Film



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