This piece was presented in collaboration with Anna Weisling (on visuals) at Sonorities Festival 2018 in the Sonic Lab of the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queen's University Belfast. The composition was created in response to a musical dialogue with Kiana Tajammol, Sohrab Motabar, Ramin Safavi, and Mo H Zarrei.
Steven Feld had previously argued that ‘art-making is something that could be and should be central to anthropological thinking […] [although] it has never happened.’ (Feld in interview with Angus Carlyle, in Lane and Carlyle 2013, 207–211) Feld’s Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra (2012), which reports on his experience of performing and recording with the Ghanaian musicians, could, however, be viewed as an example where this synthesis had happened. Inspired by Feld’s work and Simon Waters’ paper Tullis Rennie's Muscle Memory: Listening to the Act of Listening, I set out to explore how this research could benefit from collaboration. Considering the fact that I did not have physical access to the ‘field’ and that I had to mainly rely on online ethnography and my own experiences, also on my broader research and sound-based practice of course, this experiment could potentially contribute significantly to this PhD, and so it did. The idea was to investigate how collaborative composition could be exploited simultaneously as ethnography and instigative-artistic practice for a more engaged and less-mediated exploration of the music scene in Iran.
The original composition was produced with contributions by Kiana Tajammol, Ramin Safavi, Mo H Zareei, and Sohrab Motabar.