How CDbaby helped my music to survive in Iran

Salim Ghazi Saeedi

Salim Ghazi Saeedi, 2012

I grew up in Iran, a country in which artists encounter publication as a government-monopolized industry. So during days of self-teaching music and flourishing of my musical capabilities (mainly in instrumental rock context), my main concern had always been how to overcome the domestic limitations of publication. Because otherwise I had to undertake the process of obtaining permission from Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, who is known as an old opposition toward western music and art. Here is the story:

It was 2005 and at my age of 24, DIY culture was rushing into digital content production. At first I started to sell downloads directly myself and publicized my work on tribe.net. Then I found a website called magnatune.com. Their pitch caught me in fear: “We are not evil!”. I thought “Gee! Evil! I don’t like them!” I also remember reading their terms of service and it seemed a little one-way at the time. Googling for self-publication services, I found CDBaby as a cozy website with humorous tone and friendly staff. Once they even photographed my arrived CD package that was all tore up that most probably was due Iranian postal service.

During years CDBbay has always fueled my motivation for the art I produce mainly by making an easy way to overcome my publication limitations in Iran. Of course like majority of other indie artists these days, I sell in small amounts but truly every dollar that CDBaby pays, my eye twinkles! I remember reading an entrepreneurship advice in Derek Sivers’ eBook, Anything You Want that he started in the business by focusing on resolving people’s problems and gradually expanded. Of course in my case, Derek Sivers’ concern may has not directly been providing freedom of expression to artists like me, but at the end his good intention had other good side effects too!

Salim Ghazi Saeedi is an Iranian independent composer and guitarist, mostly known in avant-prog and rock in opposition genres and compared to King Crimson, Univers Zero, John Zorn, etc. www.salimworld.com

How a Marshall AVT20 serves a boy’s dreams of freedom in Iran

Salim Ghazi Saeedi Playing with MarshallsIran – Tehran
-”What do you want to be when you grow up?”
- “I want to be a king!”

This was Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s unusual answer as a 4 years old boy to the world’s most common question for children! But why someone would like to be a king anyway?! “Among all fantasy and innocent dreams of my childhood I clearly remember why I preferred a king’s profession” Salim says. “Because they could do anything they want; As a child how could I compromise for anything less?”

Growing up in Iran, in horrendous times of Iran-Iraq war and amid heavy censorship of western culture and music, Salim gradually found a way to follow his passion of childhood: He discovered rock and metal musicians are among people who “do anything they want” on the stage… And this scene always had one common background: A “Wall of Marshalls”.

In the age of 20, Salim bought an AVT20. However among all Marshall models, it is a just a cute baby, this model became Salim’s dear companion witnessing his progress in the artistic path. Salim remembers buying his AVT20 Marshall Amp from downtown of Tehran: “They did not let me to open the vacuum package before I pay for it.” Salim says: “I wanted to buy a Marshall anyway and AVT20 was the best model I afforded… After I came home and opened the manual, it read at the first page: They are addictive! My eyes twinkled: I already knew it!”

As a rock musicians in Iran, publishing 6 albums between 2006 and 2012, Salim counts as a prolific composer by many standards – however his environmental limitations has always forced him to direct his music activities toward web presence. “I have always been into Do-It-Yourself culture in general sense of term; but about music production in Iran I had no other choice; ‘cause there has never been a local rock music current around to help my music career to evolve.” During these years the Marshall Amp has been an integral part of Salim’s sound; including its clean sound. Watch him play the song Asiyeh from his 2010 album, Iconophobic:

Salim Ghazi Saeedi Playing with MarshallsSalim’s music genre has been identified as Rock in Opposition and Avant-Prog by many critics. But how an isolated musician is capable of pursuing his dream for years without giving in to his local limitations? “I can never disregard the impact of warm, multidimensional and truly addicting sound the Marshal Amp has as a self-motivation in all these years. Enjoying the instrument’s sound is an important encouragement for practicing more especially when – like in my case – you face the ordeal of doing every aspect of musicianship by yourself!” Salim continues, “Equipped with a Marshall I can hire a wide range of dynamics that is an important part of my guitar playing style. Moreover this amp makes me to feel an electric animal under my fingers – as it unbelievably responds to all levels of dynamic in playing.”

The little AVT20 black box is still amplifying Salim’s childhood dream of freedom… Is Marshall an emblem of freedom? Hell yes!

Visit Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s multilingual website at www.salimworld.com

Performing Persian Music Microtones on Electric Guitar

Persian Music Microtones LessonIran, Tehran- Salim Ghazi Saeedi is an Iranian musician, mostly known as an avant-prog and Rock in Opposition genre composer. In his 6th album, namoWoman, Salim incorporated Persian music microtones on electric guitar and now he has published an instructional article revealing his playing secrets. This is the second article he publishes in his website’s “lesson” section on Persian music subject following “Persian Modes: Reading Between the Lines of Western Music”.

Salim says: “As I have visually shown in my previous article on my website about the relation of Persian music scales to western scales, Persian music quarter tones are connecting dots between different fundamental tetrachords in western music. For playing them on electric guitar I came across a special technique that is practical on Floyd Rose bridge electric guitars that makes me able to change any desired note to a quarter tone without causing any interruption in course of normal playing, vibrating, bending or other techniques”.

Performing Persian Music Microtones on Electric Guitar is a free lesson published in lesson section of Salim’s website accompanying sample sheet music and video: http://www.salimworld.com/lesson/performing-microtones.htm

New constructed language, I3abEl, opening gates of Tower of Babel

I3abEl conlang
Iran, Tehran – Salim Ghazi Saeedi, an Iranian musician, in course of composing his avant-prog instrumental album, namoWoman, realized that common languages are not sufficient to communicate about his music in album’s booklet.  So he started developing a conlang (constructed language) named I3abEl. Here is the story:

Overwhelming in one of his no-word gardens of musical delights, Salim daydreamed: “Indeed no word is capable of communicating instrumental music, but are words themselves capable of communicating meaning at all? Lo no!” Then Salim pondered: “Men use language as an excuse to communicate… However that nothing quenches lust of human communication more than materialization of a new microcosm in flesh!”

Walking along with a row of erect trees in an autumn dawn, he turned his head to the east and the rising sun murmured in his ears: “By words I could never bare my soul to my readers – the way I do in music… But there had been times that people spake one language – one as in one rising sun.” Inspired from the one mythical language people of Babel spake, Salim started composing a conlang, to fulfill the coalition and universalization of Logos as people of Babel manifested during building the Tower of Babel. To this end – naturally – he had to bypass dualistic approach toward word construction. Despite writing poetry every now and then, in a dream Salim sermonized his image in the mirror: ” I despise words. And when I write words, it only happens during extreme times of paralysis and depression. My poetry I call inferno of Words…”

The concept of word in I3abEl is named “brick” – each mingling two opposite meanings of one concept; the way Tower of Babel was erected as the symbol of unity of its people’s desire and belief; that is Babel.

Climbing by innumerable spiral steps of Tower of babel a tablet reads on the wall:
I3abEl text

Translation: I/You step/agonize on/under worlds/voids’ zeniths/nadirs and/nor perambulate/ruined ways/abysses innumerous/numerous. And/Nor found/lost worlds/voids erected/destroyed on/under my/your footsteps/oblivion.

The above translation is a mixture of two following truths:
#1
: I stepped on worlds’ zeniths and perambulated ways innumerous. And found worlds erected on my footsteps.
#2: You agonized under voids’ nadirs nor ruined abysses numerous. Nor lost voids destroyed under your oblivion.

Visit www.salimworld.com/word/conlang to learn more about I3abElish language, check out the dictionary and alphabet and find out how you can contribute and spread the word.

namoWoman album
Info on namoWoman album is available at: http://www.salimworld.com/album-namowoman.htm

namoWoman :: In between worlds of sexualities, dualities and tonalities

namoWoman :: In between worlds of sexualities, dualities and tonalitiesSalim Ghazi Saeedi Performing

Tehran, Iran- By recreating themselves, artists transcend their time and place and now Salim Ghazi Saeedi has endeavored to overlook the life in his hometown, Tehran, by composing his 6th album, namoWoman. An instrumental avant-prog and prog metal album, namoWoman hires microtonal Persian music influences while introducing a newly constructed language (conlang) named “l3abEl” (pronounced Babel) in which the album’s booklet is written.

Salim is the man of extremities while always seeks reconciliation and harmonization among the most remotely contradictory elements. So developing as a rock/metal artist in a rock alien environment in his hometown or expressing himself by personalized mediums like a conlang of his own, all comes natural to his lifestyle. In his 2012 album, Salim has hired an expressionist microtonal approach toward art rock/metal that he describes himself as “empty spaces filled with occasional wild electric guitars and expressive melodies while having oriental dance elements undercover”.

About the concepts behind namoWoman composition, Salim says “I have always found the assumption of impossibility, an important trick against my mind – a human mind that usually prefers patterned and inductional methods of cognition.” Salim adds: “As an artist, creating and experimenting yet unexplored mental realms has always fascinated me and in order to trick my mind into pushing toward new possibilities, I like experimenting around fundamental concepts like human sexuality. Ideas like considering human sexuality beyond its dualistic nature let me to enter a new mindset and fascinations about worlds of non-Carbon based life, gradually fed my creativity for namoWoman. Maybe I can say this mindset forced my mind to respond on vital levels and challenged its own existence…”

The album cover features Carvaggio’s painting of Medusa, which according to Sigmund Freud is “the supreme talisman who provides the image of castration”. Salim says: “namoWoman cover design is a symbolic representation as if the way of transforming dualistic conceptuality passes through castrating one’s sexual identity and reconstructing it anew. All songs in this album appear as perspectives of such creative realms”.

Here, Persian music quarter tones are coming in between western music intervals – as Salim has outlined in a music theory article on his website, “Persian Modes: Reading Between the Lines of Western Music”. While quarter tones harmonize namoWoman album’s musical language, the l3abEl conlang accompanying its booklet tries to establish the harmony in realm of words.

namoWoman is available in digital and CD format at www.salimworld.com/album-namowoman.htm

namoWoman coverTrack Listing

1. namoW
2. nam
3. amo
4. moW
5. oWo
6. Wom
7. oma
8. man
9. Woman

Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s 2012 album, namoWoman, will be released in Oct 2012

“A Persian carpet with oriental odors… Now lean and enjoy the luxurious avant-prog music!”

Salim Ghazi Saeedi 2012 album, namoWoman, will be released in Oct 2012. Watch album page for more info. Sound samples will be accessible soon via this link!

An instrumental avant-prog and prog metal album, namoWoman hires microtonal Persian music influences while introducing a newly constructed language (conlang) named “lƎabEl” (pronounced Babel) in which the album’s booklet is written. Salim describes the album as “empty spaces filled with occasional wild electric guitars and expressive melodies while having oriental dance elements undercover”.

Human Encounter: An uncensored story of an Iranian musician’s encounter with you!

Human Encounter (2011)Iran, Tehran – Iranian art rock musician Salim Ghazi Saeedi released his 5th album, Human Encounter. This is a concept album with a story backing up by artist’s real life experiences. Most of the songs are dedicated to events of his life or to the human beings he adores. Here is the full story. Here is the full story:

As I came to Earth in 1981, I involuntarily came into contact with human race. Except for a few bright encounters, I found the rest, dark and ugly. “Human Encounter” is my diary of these encounters. This album is divided into two categories:

The “dark side” reflects the ugly experiences. I noticed that human beings have a tendency to call everything by a name and misunderstand it later. So I do not care what they may actually mean by a word like “evil”; but no doubt human beings themselves are the main source of terror, pain and destruction on Earth.

The “bright side” reflects the pleasures I encountered in this planet. I say no pleasure happens on Earth without a human medium; so the corresponding songs are dedicated to individual human beings. Of course at first sight, Earth seems physically alluring, but those are only temporary characteristics. The only immortal is what a man creates.

Now that I am departing this planet, I will only miss a few people like those I named in the “bright side”… Let the others putrefy in the abyss of time.

“Human Encounter” is available in MP3 and CD format ati http://www.salimworld.com/album-human-encounter.htm . Also watch this album’s video trailer at http://youtu.be/ic7wo-lu9Mo

Track Listing:
1. Human Encounter Prologue
DARK SIDE
2. Lustful Feast of Flesh
3. You Many One Devils (dedicated to rulers of past, present and future)
4. Lonesomeness
5. Sadistic Teacher (dedicated to my 4th grade teacher)
6. City Bombardment (dedicated to 1980 Iran-Iraq war bombs)
BRIGHT SIDE
7. For Eugene, Distilling the Delicacy (dedicated to Eugene de Blaas 1843-1931)
8. For Ali, Who Does Live Many Births Mercifully
9. For Kurt, The King Without Crown (dedicated to Kurt Cobain 1967-1994)
10. For Thelonious, and His 88 Holy Names (dedicated to Thelonious Monk 1917-1982)
11. For Jeremy, Embodying the Mastermind (dedicated to Jeremy Brett 1933-1995)
12. Unknown Red-Skirt Girl, Who Vanished Before My Eyes in 1995

Come As You Are!

English: Welcome to my daydream: “Avant-garde ancient art-rock from Iran”
Russian: Добро пожаловать в мой сон наяву: “Авангардный исторический арт-рок из Ирана”
German: Willkommen zu meinem Tagtraum: “Avant-garde historischer Art-Rock aus dem Iran”
Romanian: Bine aţi venit în visul meu: “Art-rock antic de avangardă din Iran”
Italian: Benvenuti nel mio sogno ad occhi aperti: “Antico art rock d’avanguardia dall’Iran”
Danish: Velkommen til min dagdrøm: “Forhistorisk avantgarde kunstrock fra Iran”
Bulgarian:  Добре дошли в моя блян: “Авангарден древен арт-рок от Иран”
Dutch: Welkom bij mijn dagdroom: “Avant-garde ancient art-rock uit Iran”
Swedish: Välkommen till min dagdröm: “Avantgardistisk forntida artrock från Iran”
Polish: Witam w moim śnie na jawie: “awangardowy starożytny art-rock z Iranu”
Norwegian: Velkommen til min dagdrøm: “Avantgarde eldgammel art-rock fra Iran”
Serbian: Dobrodošli u moj san na javi: “Avangardni drevni art-rok iz Irana”
Esperanto: Jen mia revo: “Avangarda antivka artrokmuziko el Irano”
Ukrainian: Ласкаво прошу в мій сон наяву: “Авангардний історичний арт-рок з Ірану”.
Greek: Καλώς ήρθατε στην ονειροπόληση μου: “Η ελίτ της προγενέστερης ροκ τέχνης από το Ιράν”
Farsi: Farsi Slogan
Serbian: Dobrodošli u moj san na javi: “Avangardni drevni art-rok iz Irana”
Hebrew:
Lithuanian
: Sveiki atvykę į mano svajonę: “Avangardinis senovinis artrokas iš Irano”
Slovene: Dobrodošli v moja sanjarjenja: “Avantgardni starinski art rock iz Irana”.

Iranian Progressive Rock in your language!

Exterminate all rational thought!

“Progressive rock knows no border! Salim Ghazi Saeedi, an Iranian progressive rock composer launched his multilingual website!”

My music has always been instrumental, knowing no language barrier in nature. But still my mind does not stop from producing words… To transcend my own word, I decided to speak your language! “Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to.” (Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg)

http://www.salimworld.com/inter/