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Sound the Trumpets Beat the Drums

Television (Full Length) – 1969

On Making Sound the Trumpets Beat the Drums

My Iranian friend Mahmoud Khosrowshahi (or ‘K’ for short) approached the BBC to make a film with me in Iran. The Shah had designed a music festival to bring east and west together. The BBC supplied a sound recordist, I would shoot and edit the film. My wife Lynn acted as my clapper loader.

The four of us travelled to Tehran where we were welcomed by K’s wealthy family with a sumptuous dinner party including many embassy representatives. We stayed with the head of television and travelled to the palace to interview the beautiful Empress Farah.

A few years later, the Shah and Empress Farah were forced to flee Iran, and we believe that the head of television was executed by firing squad by the Ayatollah’s regime. Back in London while editing the film, a young James Ivory (later of Merchant Ivory fame) heard me transferring Bismillah Khan’s music and came into the cutting room to ask if he could possibly have a copy. I was happy to oblige.

In 2005, we made contact with Empress Farah - now living in New York  - and sent her a copy of the film, which she was delighted to receive.