Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal compose, has contributed to The Art of Silence is an international project which features unpublished pieces by microtonal composers from Iran, Japan, the United States, and other countries.
The Art of Silence is a 36-page booklet with personal comments by the contributing musicians. The booklet also includes a DVD which consists of original video and audio tracks.
On 11 June 2017, the Belgian microtonal artist Paul A.R. Timmermans who had also managed the non-profir “Micrtona” Project in 2015, once again selected and invited international musicians to make contributions to the non-profit Art of Silence project. In his correspondence with potential contributors, Timmermans stated that he will bring forward the significance of silence for music and society, different views on interaction between music and silence, and “silence vs. music as a hot item in the 21st century”.
The musicians are selected and contacted due to their “specific artistic approach, their merits as an innovator (acoustically/ digitally/ soft) and of course for their relationship with silence.”
Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal composer, is also listed as one of the contributors to the project presenting one pieces entitled “For Paul”.
The prominent Iranian microtonal composer describes silence as below:
“If we consider music as painting, silence is an important color like the other colors which a composer or player uses to paint music. Silence must not be considered as a part without any sound and only waiting period; it should be rather considered as a time of active listening. Silence can relieve the listener’s tension when he or she follows a phrase, but it also builds tension as the listener awaits for next parts, much like a good conversation. When too many people talk about an idea this can be very hard and disturbing for the listener. So, knowing when and how to use silence is one of the key skills of any musician.”
In his microtonal music “For Paul”, you can hear a conversation between instruments. Shahin Mohajeri has made an effort in this piece to depict silence as a color and as part of his musical conversation as it was also explained above.
Watching the DVD-trailer on Youtube, you can provide the audience who are interested in microtonal music an overview of the non-profit project “The Art of Silence”. The video may be found at: https://youtu.be/M9KMG7dshqQ
The following picture shows quarter-tone tuning of Shahin Mohajeri’s music:
Shaahin Mohajeri is a percussionist and microtonal theorist and composer. He has won two international microtonal awards. He was won AEH and Muto Ethno2 Microtonal Demos Competition in 2010. He was announced as the Finalist in UnTwelve 2nd Annual Microtonal Composition Competitions for the Battle of Ahuramazda and Ahriman in 2011.
– Paul A.R. Timmermans’ Correspondence with Shaahin Mohajeri
– The Art of Silence Booklet
- Lilly Afshar, Iranian Guitar Legend, passed away
- Mohammad Esmaili passes away
- Inefficiency of some chords and harmonization systems in Iranian music
- The response of the fired musicians to the interview of the managing director of Rudaki Foundation
- Loss of Development in Iranian Music
- Last Year under the Light of Music
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (II)
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (I)
- About Davoud Pirnia, the founder of “Golha” radio program
- Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center established in Washington DC
- Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)
From Past Days…
In the few days prior to the New Iranian year (March 2015), the news of the revival of Tehran Symphony Orchestra under Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s conductorship was announced. Ali Rahbari, who served as assistant to Herbert von Karajan in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at a very young age, was also invited to conduct Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 2005; however, the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government put an end to his collaboration with this Orchestra. Recently, it was announced that Rahbari is invited to conduct an orchestra in the U.S.
Music as an art has its own special history; emergence of a singer, of an instrumentalist and then the emergence of the strong character of a composer covers three significant phases of the art of music. With the emergence of composer which was simultaneous with the emergence of the language of music, this art managed to offer a domain for criticism for its composer; a procedure which led to a magnificent variety and evolution in musical production. Even though the conflicts between singers and instrumentalists have not met their end in the Iranian society and while singers can achieve high, instrumentalists have yet to play behind curtains . In a special era, with the efforts of musicians such as Ali Naghi Vaziri (1887-1979) and Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965), glimmers of a composing era started to glow bearing fruit in Khaleghi’s achievement as Iran’s first professional composer. Khaleghi made his reputation as a composer while Vaziri deserved to pioneer this path. By then Vaziri was well-known as a Tar player.
With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.
3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.
One of the most important criteria for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music is number of times the piece has been performance by different ensembles and orchestras in different eras. This belief has become so pervasive in some societies, such as Iranian society, that it is considered the only criterion for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music.
Violin players should always pay attention to the proper position of the left thumb and other points related to it and to its joining point to the palm.
On June 19, 2021 , young Iranian composer and pianist, Farhad Poupel’s piece, Road to Bach, was performed at the prestigious Suntory Hall by the great Japanese pianist, Kotaro Fukuma. The piece was commissioned by Kotaro Fukuma to have its world premiere in Suntory Hall during a concert by the same name.
Gholamreza Khan Minbashian taught courses such as organology, orchestration of military music and harmony based on the books which were translated from French into Persian with the help of Aliakbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh (1846-1932).
Hossein Aslani, Iranian pianist residing in the US, passed away due to cancer in late January 2020. His last musical activity was an article written for Harmony Talk entitled “Iran amidst musical struggle” in 2016, his memoir entitled “I Play You Again” in the same year and his album “Symbolic Emotion” published by Arganoun Publications in 2014. Here is a brief biography of Hossein Aslani according to his own website:
At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.