1999 Tear

Tear (1999)

A study on the relationship between timbre and melody. It is based on a melodic improvisation by Mohammad Reza Shajarian, one of the greatest living vocalists of Iran, in the mode of Bayat-e Tork (similar to the western major scale with the 7th degree flatted a quarter tone.) 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. Tear presents these two musical realms as complementing material. The piece first establishes a mood in which the vocal melody would ambiguously enter, however, as the piece progresses, both opposing qualities – the traditional beauty of the melody and the mechanical precision of the accompanying timbres – keep their own character yet move in the same direction. The preservation of the original feeling of the vocalist and the content of the poem by Hafez (Persian poet of 13th century) were the initial assumptions and difficulties of this study. All the sounds, except the voice of Mohammad Reza Shajarian, have been synthesized by the Recursive Granular Synthesis method devised by the author.

NOTE: This piece is a 4 channel tape piece. The 4 channel version is available for ADAT or DA-88/DA-38 format.