Evocations of Iran
In a journey of understanding the music of my cultural past, I have composed a set of piano pieces in each of the seven Persian modes. These pieces are a reflection of my evocations of Iran and the incessant longing to freely see the country of my cultural heritage. My family and I went to Iran in 2017 for the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The various sites and emotions I felt while on this trip are featured in this work. My presentation will focus on some of the challenges I face as an Australian-born Iranian composer who is synthesising Persian traditional music with contemporary western art music. Each piece in the Evocations of Iran amalgamates a Persian mode and compositional feature with the techniques/ideas presented in the western music that I have grown up studying.
A Dialogue Between Nature and Culture through a Calling Tradition
For Bourdieu, “habitus is an embodied pattern of action and reaction, in which we are not fully conscious of why we do what we do; not totally determined, but a tendency to behave in a certain way” (Becker 2004, 71). Becker generalizes the concept of habitus into the sense of listening, stating we find that we are surrounded by sounds which we hear but of which we are not fully conscious. As a result, “most of our styles of listening have been learned through unconscious imitation of those sounds that surround us and with whom we continually interact” (ibid.). For me, this concept addresses the creation of khele, a traditional call related to the Talesh people of Iran, based on its connection to Talesh occupational folklife and living places. In this presentation, I will examine how nature sounds could make a cultural element by considering Becker’s habitus of listening (2004) and my two months fieldwork in countrysides and villages of Talesh in summer, 2017.