A passion for woodworking!
I was born in 1959 in an ordinary family in Tehran. As an adolescent, I was very fond of making different objects out of wood.
When I was 13 years old, I made a wooden chess set and a Santour (an instrument invented and developed in Iran) using wood crates. In 1979, as I was 19 years old, the Iranian Revolution took place.
I had just graduated from high school in mathematics and wanted to pursue my studies in chemistry or metallurgy at university but the universities have been closed for three years (1980–1983) with the
intention of changing the educational system in order to bring it in line with the revolution. After reopening, thousands of students and lecturer who opposed the new government were purged and barred from the higher education.
My first carpentry workshop
Barred from university, I started to work as self-taught carpenter. I set up a carpentry workshop together with three friends. At the beginning, we were not able to tell the difference between wood, chipboard, MDF and veneer but after six months working continuously with different types of wood, we gained a lot of experience. Then I decided to work independently and opened my own carpentry workshop.
How I became a professional music instrument maker
After one year I tried to learn woodturning autodidactically. My only advisor was a friend, called Mr. Habib, who was a master in woodturning. After a while, I made the first music instrument, named Kamancheh, an Iranian bowed string instrument. Then I made my first Tombak (an Iranian percussion), putting 146 pieces together. I received a very positive feedback from the masters of Iranian music. This encouraged me to continue making instruments as seriously as possible. In 1984, Mr. Mohammad Reza Lotfi, one of the greatest Iranian classical musicians founded the Chavosh music instrument workshop. There, I had the chance to meet great masters such as Mr. Mahmoud Farahmand and Mr. Amir Ataei from whom I learned a lot on making instruments. At that time, making instruments and playing them in public was forbidden. No one was allowed to carry an instrument on the street. Therefore, I started making Tombak in the basement of my house. I began to learn to play Tombak by my master, Mr. Djamshid Mohebbi.
Immigration to Germany
In 1986, I decided to take a trip to Germany to visit my relatives and friends. Meanwhile I prepared 13 mountable tombaks made of two separate parts and send them to Germany as lampshades, because taking the instruments out of the country was also forbidden. Then I got the visa and went to Germany. My Iranian friends in Germany asked me to stay for a while and to make instruments for them. They gave me a lot of support to obtain my first year residence permit. During this period, I made many Iranian instruments, such as Santour, Setar, Kamancheh.
Many of these instruments are still in my personal archive.
After one year, I decided to stay in Germany / Cologne and to work as a freelance music instrument maker.
In 1989, I got my master’s certificate from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the meantime, the conditions for musicians and music instrument makers in Iran were facilitated in some way. Musical instrument workshops gradually began to expand their activities. In 1995, I got my master’s certificate in woodturning without passing any exam, based on my long years of experiences. Then I continued to make exclusively Iranian instruments in my atelier.
In 2000, I invented an air tuning system together with my friends, David and Roman in Berlin.
Life goes on …
In April 2003, I immigrated to Spain and I started doing research on the international percussions and making wooden art objects. I have twelve patented instruments in my artistic activity records such as Cajatom, Hamgam, Cajadrum, Multidrum, Bonga, Kaskarita, Cajon 4 in 1 (4 percussions in a single instrument), Darbuka with natural skin and tuning system, round Cajon, percussion stand etc. They have all been my own inventions and are unique in the world. In 2012, I created my website “Majiddrums”.
In November 2014, I returned to Germany because the long distance between Spain and central Europe made it difficult for me to attend festivals and exhibitions.
Since then, I have participated in many festivals and exhibitions in Europe and gained a worldwide reputation as a percussion maker.
My next plan is to produce videos that show the construction process of all music instruments that I have made, from beginning to end in order to transmit all my professional knowledge to the next generation of music instruments maker.
My recent activities
I have recently created two other websites named “Majidwookpecker” and “Sit & Fit”. In the first one, I present all my handmade art objects such as spinning tops, table lamps, pepper mill, jewelry box, candleholder etc. The latter presents a new training device, with high effectiveness, practicality, and safety, approved by physiotherapists and orthopedists.