Since 1979, alongside her classical studies, Sima Bina has focused on extensive research on Persian folk songs, collecting, recording, writing and re-interpreting popular regional music. By traveling to remote places throughout Khorasan, Sima has been able to gather and revive a collection of almost forgotten songs and melodies. Rejecting the notion that a professional vocalist must leave popular music to folk singers, while devoting their career to ‘serious’ music, she has gained a unique position in the history of Persian music.
Since 1993, Sima Bina has been invited to present her folkloric repertoire in festivals all over the world.
In more than thirty years of research during which I have been collecting Persian folksongs, I have often come across a variety of ethnic tunes of lullabies. I even arranged and recorded some of the more elaborated ones along with my folksongs.
I soon realized that these plain rhythmic lyrics of mothers’ songs were themselves a unique and invaluable cultural treasure that if not preserved, would be lost to future children. What I came to appreciate most was the abundance and variety of Persian lullabies. Therefore, I vigorously started to devote a portion of my research time to recording and restoring the lullabies across the vast plateau of Iran. In my initial steps I found that this treasure would have to be dug out from under layers and layers of time and that I often would have to sit in the presence of old grandmothers, hoping they would recollect these almost forgotten tunes.