Shiva Aryanpad (Vocalist)

Shiva discovered her passion for singing as a teenager, and performed at numerous events in different states in Iran. After her arrival in Australia, she continued her performances in Tasmania and then Queensland. She moved to Adelaide in 2000 and joined Behnoosh in forming Kashkul Ensemble and started training under his supervision; they performed in different venues and festivals both local and nationally.

Behnoosh’s Passion for Traditional Persian Music inspired Shiva to start formal training from various teachers in Iran since 2008. She is currently studying the Persian "Vocal Radif" , a collection of many old melodic figures preserved through many generations by oral tradition.

Behnoosh Aryanpad (Tar/Composer/Ensemble Director)

Behnoosh developed a passion for music from early childhood, inspired by his brother Darioush Aryanpad, a singer song writer and multi instrumentalist. He moved to Australia as a teenager and started taking guitar lessons from his brother. Soon after, they began performing original songs composed by Darioush set to contemporary and classical Persian Poetry.

Behnoosh’s passion and thirst for music lead him to undertake formal training at Flinders School of Music where he did two years of vocal training and a certificate IV in Music Technology. Later he attended Noarlunga College where he studied for three years obtaining a diploma in Commercial Music majoring in bass guitar. His yearning for spiritual music and mystical poetry guided him towards traditional Persian music whereby he could express his true feelings, as it can be witnessed through his uplifting compositions performed by Kashkul Ensemble. He plays setar & tanboor and has been playing tar since 2008. He has been studying the Persian instrumental Radif under the instructions of Farhad Reihani, an accomplished tar player/composer in Iran.

Greta Kelly (Kamanche)

Greta developed her fascination for world music while living in Prague which opened her ears to Eastern European and Balkan folk music. In 1999 she started playing Turkish classical and folk music which led her to study in Turkey and Greece. Iraqi and Egyptian classical and folk music drew her ears further east. Now she is deeply involved in Persian music, an obsession which took her to Iran in 2011 to study kamanche. Greta plays a kamanche tarhu by Armidale luthier Peter Biffin (designed in collaboration with Kayhan Kalhor), which has five playing strings and seven sympathetic strings.

Timothy Johannessen (Bamtar/Setar)

Timothy began studying and performing music at an early age. He performed in various ensembles primarily as a multi-instrumentalist, for many years as well as performing and composing music for theatre. In 2001 Timothy discovered the musical and philosophical traditions of Iran and today his artistic and intellectual life is largely stretched between these two poles. Timothy has undertaken lengthy individual and formal study of Iranian music. He has studied the Daf and Iranian musical rhythms and more recently has commenced the study of Setar and the Radif of Persian music.

Timothy plays various instruments such as the Oud, Bamtar, Tanboor and other stringed and percussive instruments. As well as Persian music performance, Timothy has a deep interest in the philosophical and spiritual foundations of Persian music and music generally. He is currently completing postgraduate research in the area of Iranian-Islamic philosophy.

Mahzad Fard (Daf/Tonbak)

Mahzad has always been fascinated by Persian traditional music. She learnt daf and tonbak from great masters back in her country, Iran, and has been playing them since 2004. Mahzad joined Kashkul Ensemble in 2010 and has had several performances in Australia.

Homeira Aryanpad (Daf/Tonbak)

Homeira has been involved in numerous choirs as a singer and conductor. She showed a special interest in Persian poetry and music from an early age and has been actively involved in music for many years, including her studies in piano and music theory. She started playing tonbak in 2008 and later on added daf to her portfolio.

Kelly Dowall (Ney)

Kelly Dowall has been studying and performing traditional, classical and folk music since 2001. She has a degree in music from the University of Queensland and is particularly interested in the traditional music of countries in and around the Middle East. Kelly played clarinet and Turkish ney in various Brisbane-based ensembles, including Muziz, Tulip Garden, the Transbalkan Express and the Hikayat ensemble.

Inspired by her admiration of the classical music tradition of Iran, Kelly began to learn the Persian ney in 2009. Although relatively young in her experience and knowledge of the Persian ney, Kelly brings to Kashkul Ensemble a wealth of experience and musicality, as well as a sincere appreciation of, and affinity with, the music and poetry of Iran.