The Cross-Cultural and Innovative Music of Gelareh Pour

Friday 18 June 2021

 Woman with dark hair and gold earrings sitting next to a drum kit with two small toy figurines on top of it.

This year we are celebrating Refugee Week by sharing some of the stories from our refugee community here in Yarra.

Although we are unable to come together and experience the musical stylings of Gelareh Pour in person, we’re delighted to be able to celebrate and enjoy her talented work online.

Gelareh’s story

Gelareh Pour is an Iranian-Australian singer and instrumentalist, choir director and music instructor who immigrated to Australia in 2012.

After years of practising and studying classical Persian music in Iran, Gelareh completed her Masters of Ethnomusicology at the University of Melbourne. Her work detailed the lives of Iranian women singers in diaspora.

Gelareh’s interest in different cultures and genres sees her working with some of the country’s most innovative musicians, across a variety of music scenes. Gelareh has embraced the cultural diversity of Melbourne and Australia since arriving in 2012.

“When I moved to Australia, I couldn’t get my hands on all the amazing classical Persian musicians I used to be surrounded by. Instead, I was lucky to get in touch with a lot of experimental musicians in Melbourne.”

“I love how multicultural Melbourne is, and how I can get my hands on any musician from any different background or culture or language.” 


Gelareh Pour formed ‘Garden’ in June 2016. Garden features Brian O'Dwyer on drums, with Mike Gallichio playing guitar. Their debut album launched in July 2019. 



In 2017, Gelareh Pour and Brian O'Dwyer formed ‘ZÖJ’, meaning ‘couple’ in Farsi, with Gelareh on Persian kamancheh (spiked fiddle) and vocals, and Brian O'Dwyer on the drums. 

These two masters of improvisation, from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds, have found a common language, using Persian and Western motifs of hypnotic music.

Invoking the rich traditions of her distant homeland, Gelareh is a master of the kamancheh with a flair for stylish interpretations of poetry sung in her native Farsi. Brian’s experimental drum rhythms amplify these talents, catapulting their music into a more contemporary sphere.


Learn more about Gelareh and her music


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