Collaborative Composition as Ethnographic Research in Iran’s Digital Arts and Experimental Electronic Music Scene

Hadi Bastani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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In 2006, I abandoned a post-punk album that I had recorded with my friends and
then-bandmates in a studio that was located in a north-western corner of Tehran, in order to explore new ways of doing music. I started researching experimental forms of electronic music and soon found an interest in the kinds of aesthetics associated with glitch and noise, while exploring potentials of working with software, programming languages, and recording techniques. Later on, first through my personal investigation and then academic research, I found out that many among my interlocutors have gone through similar trajectories in Iran and found interest in similar areas of practice and aesthetic territories. These scattered practices connected around 2010 and made their way to the public domain, forming an experimental electronic music scene. One of the key characteristics of this DIY and independent scene, and a catalyst for connecting the previously scattered practices of underground electronic music in Iran, has been collaboration. Collaborative initiatives in the form of art collectives, digital arts and electronic music festival introduced the scene to audiences beyond the national borders. In this presentation I will locate the scene within a web of social-political-technological agencies and investigate how collaborative music-making can serve as an analytical tool within ethnographic fieldwork.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 14 Nov 2018
EventThe Society for Ethnomusicology: 63rd Annual Meeting - Hotel Albuquerque in the Old Town district of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, United States
Duration: 15 Nov 201818 Nov 2018


ConferenceThe Society for Ethnomusicology
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • collaborative composition
  • collaborative ethnography
  • composition
  • ethnography
  • practice as research
  • practice-based
  • Artistic collaborations
  • experimental music
  • electronic music
  • digital media
  • internet


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