I’ve recently released some music with composer and santoor player Atefeh Einali. The information about our musical process and collaboration is below.
From Atefeh: We want to make a journey for our audiences step by step from the first piece to feel kindness, love, humanism, fear, sometimes anger, sadness, and all of our emotions, as we felt when we were composing these pieces. In our music, you see the merging of east and west. The Iranian part shows the new concept in making intervals, for example in Segah Dastgah we focus on one note that has an unusual tune in Iranian music (this is a quarter note). Also, in Chahargah Dastgah we have “Mojanab intervals” (135-145 cents), this is the third interval that is made with a quarter note. So, we want to merge these new intervals with the tonal ones in western music and arrange them with electronic processes, with noises, breathing sound, and singing that show our feelings in an innovative atmosphere. Finally, we want our words as music to connect with people around the world because music is a language that everybody understands.
From Melanie: For many months we sent messages to each other. Many with audio, even more in the Telegram app’s face ‘circle’. The first message that Atefeh sent was the video of the santoor with an explanation about tuning and the way it can be struck with different hammers. And then she played it and I was amazed and drawn in by its timbre and harmonies.
Circle Messages came together out of a need to hear our melodies, and to pair distinct harmonies with time-travelled noisy electrotextures. Often playful, with sections that occasionally jar, our sounds went from Tehran to Melbourne; from Melbourne to Tehran, to give form to our compositions. Sometimes this geographical space is audible in the music as surface noise, or in mixing and panning choices. In our messages to each other, we gave feedback about music, shared thoughts and feelings, frustrations, and joy. When I was remixing the final piece, Rast-panjgah, there were protests in Iran and the Iranian government shut down Telegram, an application that the population relies on to message each other like SMS. I mixed the rest of Rast-panjgah with a keen sense of Atefeh’s absence, and concern for Iran.
Listen on the home page or purchase here.