2000 No Flowers, No Incense, Only Sound

No Flowers, No Incense, Only Sound (2000)


Composed in a mode similar to an ancient Persian “gousheh Kord-e Bayat”. Computer music is often thought to have a very specific sound which is normally attributed to the western musical traditions. It is often a very difficult task for electronic/computer music to stay in a realm of a certain tradition without misappropriating some aspect of that tradition within the context of the Western frame of mind. This piece intends to be Persian electronic music; while technologically advanced, the musical content is still connected to the roots of the traditional music.

The main force of the piece is in a calm resistance against the climactic form, and thus reversing the usual role of melody and timbre. The piece begins with melodic form, however, the timbres are built progressively which eventually compete for attention of the listener. The ensemble of repetitive melodies will become a musical timbre in which the progressive nature of the sonic timbres can be heard. Spatialization plays a structural role in this piece and in reversing the role of traditional parameters. The multi-layered moving sounds create a depth in space in which the repetitive melodies seem to be static and to accentuate the gestural movements of the timbres. Usually space is used as a collection of points and paths through which the sounds are either positioned or moved. Thus traditionally space serves the sounds. However, in this piece the sounds move to create the space. Therefore, a major part of the piece is intended to be the space that is portrayed for the listener. All the sounds have been synthesized by the Recursive Granular Sunthesis method devised by the composer. Cmusic (and specifically the space unit generator), developed by F. Richard Moore, was used for the spatialization.

International Computer Music Festival, Havana, Cuba 2001.
Institut Neue Musik und Musikersiehung. Darmstad, Germany. Apr. 2001.


NOTE: This piece is a 4 channel tape piece. The stereo version is a 2 channel rendition which is designed to be listened to with speakers approximately 6 meters apart. The front two channels should not be assigned to back speakers.