As part of the festival of spirituality and peace, Persian classical music group the Magham Ensemble's Journey through Iranian Magham Music took the listener on an aural voyage through the modal scales of Iran and Kurdistan.

A concert of new compositions based on traditional modes, the ensemble opened with a hauntingly beautiful yet strangely hypnotic piece, with the singing voice of oud player Arash Fayazi cutting through the instrumental music with a transfixing quality reminiscent of an Islamic call to prayer. Duets with guest vocalist Sholeh Johnston had a wonderfully close blend, and Johnston sang gracefully, with seemingly effortless ornamentation.

Moving on to more upbeat music with increasingly intricate instrumentation, the slow, steady rhythmic force is retained, with the percussion playing of Ali Nourbakhsh driving the ebb and flow of the music throughout. He commanded a wide and varied array of pitch and resonance and produced a phenomenal cacophony of sounds from just a single drum.

The group played with a firm sense of unity and the performance was a fantastic example of a contemporary slant on an ancient musical tradition.