Prince Achmed

Steven Kamperman • compositions, alto clarinet, melodica, drums; Hamid Reza Behzadian • harmonica, Indian guitar, lapsteel; Esat Ekincioğlu • double bass; Silent Movie ‘The adventures of Prince Achmed’ (1926) by Lotte Reiniger.

Composer and alto clarinetist Steven Kamperman wrote a new soundtrack for Lotte Reiniger’s magical 1926 animated film Die Abenteure des Prinzen Achmeds, the first full-length animated film from the early years of cinema. Not drawn, as with Disney, but cut to dazzling detail!

Using the filmed stories from 1001 Nights as a guide, the music is also inspired by the oriental tradition, with Kamperman drawing on his decades of experience with Turkish and Arabic maqams. But those who know his work know that it always has many layers and twists. Thus, in between the melodic richness, contemporary composed sounds and spicy improvisations create a multi-colored universe. Kamperman also wrote a small overture before the film, which in the best operatic tradition already prepares the visitor for what is to come.

Hamid Reza Behzadian is Iranian by birth, but graduated cum laude in Indian classical music from the Conservatory in Rotterdam with Chiranjib Chakraborty, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Ratan Bharati. Behzadian not only excels on various stringed instruments (on which he sometimes applies electronic effects) but also makes a great impression with Iranian blue notes on the harmonica. The virtuoso Turkish bassist Esat Ekincioğlu tours the world with his AVA Trio and those who hear his catchy grooves and improvisations immediately understand why.

Steven Kamperman, Hamid Reza Behzadian, and Esat Ekincioğlu take you into the mysterious world of the Tales of 1001 Nights. From hauntingly beautiful melodies that evoke the allure of the Arabian desert to thunderous beats that accompany epic battles, the music transports you to a realm of wonder and fascination. Unleash your imagination and embark on a captivating journey.

This project came about through a composition grant from the Fonds Podiumkunsten.

Are you interested in a concert? The group disposes of all the needed visual equipment.

Prince Achmed live in Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, March 31st, 2023