Ornamental Descend

Hadi Bastani (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

Abstract

The main idea of ornamental descend was to respond to Ata Ebtekar’s practice. Ata’s work has provided a predominantly ambient scene with an important nuance and, as such, encouraging the development of new styles. Having uniquely, and rather confidently, engaged with elements of Iranian classical and folk music, his repertoire of practice provides a significant contrast to that developed by his former colleagues in SET (especially in early years). His work somehow bridges elements of ‘sophisticated’ club music—closer to forms such as idm and breakcore—and electroacoustic music. In an environment in which many forms of music typically played in clubs are not allowed to be represented in public in any shape or form—the kinds one may generally call, regardless of their different genric characteristics, ‘groovy’ or danceable—Ata’s practice fills an important gap. It is partly thanks to Ata’s music, optimism, enthusiastic conduct, connections, and PR abilities that SET has grown to such an extent, becoming the number one platform for experimental electronic music in Iran with a reputation that goes beyond the country’s geopolitical borders.

Ornamental descend is 04:03 long and, as such, is my shortest composition within the portfolio. It is composed based on a ‘musical’ phrase that appears at 02:31 and gradually develops through different variations and ornamental passages until the end of the piece. It explores microtonal structures, particularly quarter-tones, in a ‘pop’ music context—due to its length and riff-oriented character—similar to the majority of Ata’s works. All sounds are formed through performing with Eurorack modules—a wavetable synthesizer, oscillators, filters, lfos, sequencers, and envelope generators. To achieve the kind of microtonal intervals and ornamental passages that the work involves, different couplings of control signals and audio sources were explored. The piece’s main sonic cell—the phrase that appears at 02:31—is developed throughout the piece in the form of call and response, which is a common compositional technique in dastgāh music (a modal system used in Iranian classical music). Developed ornamental passages have been considered as virtue of a skilful performer within Iranian folk and classical music for centuries. Performers of Iranian ‘traditional’ instruments have been recognised and praised within Iranian classical music literature for their authentic and elaborate use of ornamental passages. Quarter-tones are also contained in many Persian dastgāhs, and, as such, are known as one of the characteristic sounds of Iranian folk and classical repertoire.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOpal Tapes
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Experimental Music
  • Micro Tonal
  • Iran
  • electronic music
  • Opal Tapes

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  • Student Theses

    Recent Experimental Electronic Music Practices in Iran: An ethnographic and sound-based investigation

    Author: Bastani, H., Dec 2020

    Supervisor: Waters, S. (Supervisor) & Tsioulakis, I. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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    Cite this

    Bastani, H. (Composer). (2018). Ornamental Descend. Composition, Opal Tapes. https://zabtesote.bandcamp.com/track/ornamental-descend