T here are no other musicians in my family. I’d been listening to a lot of radio programs and I fell in love with the tar when I was 13 or 14. I said to my mum that I wanted to play this instrument. She was like ‘are you sure? you’re only 13, and kids at this age listen to pop’. I said ‘no, I just love this instrument’, so she got me one and I never stopped.

Hamed Sadeghi Hamed Sadeghi © Alex Apt Photography

My mum found a teacher for me [in Tehran where I was born] and then after a few years I found better ones, and I continued professionally with well-known teachers. I liked the instrument because it sounded very warm to me, very friendly, and listening to the tar improvisation, it was like someone telling a story, and I love stories.

We have a very precious repertoire in Persian classical music called radif , which is one of the biggest repertoires in Eastern music. You have to dedicate your life for a...