Laudan Nooshin was in Budapest last week to present the 2015 WOMEX Professional Excellence Award to Iranian music producer Ramin Sadighi. Sadighi set up the Hermes record label in 1999 and has since produced some of the most innovative and boundary-breaking music in Iran. WOMEX is the annual world music industry exposition which this year was held in Budapest from 21st to 25th October and attended by over 2,500 artists, producers, promoters, journalists and others involved in the world music industry.
Laudan chaired a Q&A session with Ramin on 24th October and presented his award at the closing ceremony. Here is an extract from her speech:
“I am deeply honoured and humbled to be presenting the 2015 WOMEX Professional Excellence Award to Mr Ramin Sadighi. I believe that WOMEX has shown great foresight in giving this award to a man who – I think it is no exaggeration to say – has changed the face of music production in Iran, setting new standards, challenging stereotypes and opening new musical spaces.
As someone who has been involved with Iranian music for more than 30 years, I am grateful for this opportunity to publicly thank Ramin – and Hermes, the label that he founded 16 years ago. And, of course, this award is also intended to recognise all of those working in the independent music sector in Iran, and to pay tribute to their amazing resilience and creativity. And, given the overwhelmingly negative media representations of Iran, it’s all the more important to have such moments of recognition.
When I think of Hermes, four words come to mind: Vision. Quality. Integrity. Trust.
Hermes’ work is visionary and boundary-breaking. Above all, it has provided a space for supporting, promoting the work of, and creating an audience for music which crosses boundaries of many kinds, musical and cultural.
Hermes has set new standards of quality for music production in Iran, from the music itself, the presentation of albums, the many concerts at home and abroad – in particular bringing musicians to Iran; and numerous events such as discussion and listening sessions and film screenings. Hermes is much more than a record company – it has created a community around this music.”