Kambiz Dara and Reza Forghani are phenomenal improvisors that I had the privilege to perform with in a Persian literature gathering in Griffith University, Brisbane held by Shahab (Brisbane art and cultural nights in Persian). I am no expert on middle eastern music but I have always liked to adopt the tradition of deep and long improvisations on solo instruments, the way they have done for hundreds of years; a phenomenon that I have found non-existent in electric guitar. These are musings on a Khayyam Neyshabouri poems with Kambiz on piano and Reza on vocals and me on electric guitar.
Music Street Journal’s Gary Hill dedicated a chapter to me in his recent book, Poetry of the Air. The book interviews progressive rock musicians for their experience as music listeners. To quote from the book, “The basic idea is that musicians, before making the decision to get involved making music, were music fans.”. Indeed being featured in this book among prog musician giants is an unspeakable honor for me. Below is what I contributed to the book. At the end find more information about the book and how you could purchase it.
Chapter 70: Salim Ghazi Saeedi
We fall in love with our counterparts; what we don’t have; sometimes the complete opposite is the most wanted…
From early childhood – as an introspective and lonely child in Iran – I liked cheerful pleasures and green fields and outlaw freedoms. So I created all these realms in my mind by immersing in fantasized and abstract worlds of music and visualized what I did not have in real life.
Because in reality I had war, sadistic teachers in school and religious dogmatism.
So I sought:
Larry Groce’s colorful and cheerful fantasies in Walt Disney characters’ world (at age four)
Freddie Mercury’s burning love and passion (at age 12)
Michael Jackson’s erotic teenage desires (at age 14)
Pink Floyd’s voice of a lost generation (at age 16)
Kurt Cobain’s ecstatic anarchy (at age 18)
Aerosmith’s broken heart (at age 19)
Guns n’ Roses’ deviant pleasures (at age 20)
Megadeth’s rage and madness (at age 22)
Steve Ray Vaughn’s benevolent heart (at age 24)
Jeff Beck’s modern language of the lover boy (at age 25)
Thelonious Monk’s annihilating experience of unspeakable spiritual outburst (at age 26)
Tool’s occult and multi-facet presentation of mind (at age 28)
Munir Bashir’s demonstration of supreme mastery (At age 30)
Kayhan Kalhor’s unending pleasures of a dancing mystic (At age 31)
Yea! That was my biography! I found my life among the musical
notes I adored. Now I am older, and I know more about the world since
the Walt Disney fantasies of age four, but these artists shaped my life
and delivered the life force as music packages to my ears and into my
Now, as a musician, my mind produces music as I walk, as I think
and breathe. I play my guitar and dream and fantasize about the
future…To pass on and deliver my life to you!
List of artists included in the book: Jon Anderson (Yes, ABWH and more) Allan Atkins (Judas Priest and more) Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult and more) Bun E. Carlos (solo and formerly Cheap Trick) Jackie “Jax” Chambers (Girlschool) Alan Davey (Hawkwind, Gunslinger and more) Terry Draper (Klaatu and solo) Larry Fast (Synergy) Steve Hackett (Genesis, solo and more) Tommy James (Tommy James and the Shondells) Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel and more) James Lowe (Electric Prunes) Paul Richards (California Guitar Trio) Jordan Rudess (Dixie Dregs, Dream Theater and more) Billy Sherwood (Yes and more) James Lee Stanley Peter “Peavy” Wagner (Rage) Rick Wakeman (Yes, Strawbs and more) and many more
Applying for the first job in Australia as a skilled migrant in professional jobs could takes months, becomes boring or makes you cry. Here are some advanced tips for serious job seekers. This guide is based on my own experience and I call it “advanced” since prior to applying them you should be acquainted with “basic” resume making and interview skills for which there are many resources available. Stick to this guide and this guide will hopefully make your settlement process easier:
Be ready to search for months. Even a year
The employment process is itself long with many parameters involved. From the time you apply, it could take 1.5 month or even more to secure the job and in this course many things may happen. The job requirements may change, the employer may change his mind and hundreds of other applicants may apply. Add to this employers who prefer local experience. It seriously takes time. In order to improve your social skills upon entry and save money I suggest to rent private rooms in shared houses. I find the best platform airbnb,com. The Australians are quite relaxed and friendly. This way you will be obliged to engage with other tenants. Consequently your English and culture awareness will improve.
There is no such thing as a perfect resume
No matter how confident you are in the content and style of your current resume do not pass easily from this paragraph. How many times you have revised your resume according to Australian standards? Five times? Ten times? It may need more. More specifically give it to professional people in your field to edit.
Do not let “you do not have a local experience” motto disappoint you
Job market could be discriminating or lets say conservative against applicants with no local experience. But there are some companies – especially large international or young creative ones – which have a multi-cultural employee environment. Some others may need people urgently. Sure you do not have a local experience because you have just migrated. But do not make it political or complain to much, unless you are going to become an activist.
Do not compromise your expertise
No matter what anyone says, do not compromise your expertise for any lower level work. If you have migrated based on Australian current job market needs (i.e. your job is on SOL), try to find the job you are the best at. No more, no less.
For the interviews you have to practice many work examples and be able to introduce yourself on the fly in unpredictable phone calls from 9am to 6pm, while you are in the street or toilet. If you apply for a junior, mid-level or senior level jobs simultaneously, you have to know 3 different versions of your self-presentation by heart. I wasn’t able to do that!
Consider job searching as a full time job
Wake up in the morning, do some sports, start early and use the business hours for job searching. Continue this tirelessly no matter how many months pass.
For the above reason try to avoid working any unrelated job to your expertise – if possible. If you become a salesperson or waiter to have something the table, you will not have time to do the job search.
Weak English? Forget about it
Unless you are lucky, a very technical nerd that needs minimum interaction with other people at work or are applying for not very professional jobs, you have to have fluent English. You should impress the HR/employer/agent on the phone or interview. And impressing means interacting as a real human being and not just a job-performing robot. Read newspapers and watch Australian TV everyday.
Do consider government jobs
Writing “selection criteria” besides tailoring resume and cover letter is boring but it could be rewarding if you are applying government jobs or companies welcoming employees from different diversity backgrounds or minorities (They always mention this at the bottom of the ad). So be sure to mention your sex, ethnicity or having a disability and do not choose “I wish not to disclose” option. Your chance of employment will be higher this way.
Be the master of your job market
As a skill migrant, you are coming from a different job market culture so job titles and terms in your profession may differ here. Go deep in reading job ads to thoroughly understand which job title(s) describe you in Australia the best. Before coming to Australia my job title was “Systems and Methods Specialist”. Then I realised Australians call it “Business Analyst”. And this was not the end of story. More specifically there are: IT Business Analyst, Technical Business Analyst, Business Process Analyst, Commercial Analyst, Continuous Improvement Analyst, Process Analyst, Financial Analyst. And there is no standard in how employers use these terms. So one employer may say “Systems Analyst” but he actually means “IT Business Analyst” in your terminology. My suggestion is never search for jobs based on job categories. Instead search based on keywords in your profession that you expect to see in job ads.
Develop a methodology for your job search
There are two extreme types of applicants. Some find low frequent job ads in their field. Lets say 1-2 per day. And some find high frequent job ads. Lets say 40-50 per day. The approach for each of these extremes should be different. (And decide your approach if you come in between)
- Low frequent job ads: Spend at least 2-3 hours or even way more for each job ad: Tailoring the resume, writing specific cover letter and selection criteria. Call the employer/agent before submitting, Ask them for coffee. Follow up. Become friends with them.
- High frequent job ads: Categorise and prioritise jobs titles you are capable of. Categorise and prioritise jobs ads. Apply real-time (In seek.com.au you are able to filter the jobs posted today). Call and follow up only important ones. You can build resume templates for each category and its variations and spend time tailoring only if you have.
Attend free resume/interview classes held by government
Australian government holds free resume/interview classes. The name of the course is different in each state. You will find the links in Ministry of Trades state government website. In NSW it is called Skillmax. One important fact is these classes only provide general advice in your resume. They are not experts in your profession. So you have to translate your resume to professional vocabulary of your job yourself or ask/research people in your field.
Juggle with applying methods
Be creative. Do not hide behind your computer. Make the application process lively and interesting. Some known methods so far:
- Seek.com.au: To my experience it is a very important platform. It could be not true for all professions.
- Try indeed.com or careerone.com.au that aggregate some jobs not advertised on seek.com
- Make your Linkedin professional in Linkedin way. Do not just copy/paste your resume here. Know Linkedin’s style. A catchy headline matters a lot. Know Karaylyn Brown. She is an expert Linkedin profile writer. I attended her seminar in Skillmax class and then I rewrote my profile based on her suggestions. Ask her for help if you need.
- Visit companies and recruitment agencies: It is essential to know your job market physically too. Before visiting one famous recruiter in person I always thought it is a one room company run by some teenagers, actually because of their awful website design. After visiting them I realised they own two multi story buildings in Sydney as a branch of a UK company.
- Ask people for coffee: If you are able to present yourself well, convincing managers or recruiters to have a coffee with you is way easier than formal talk via phone.
- Attend meetups posted on meetup.com related to your profession: You could easily find referees by this way.
- Become member of professional associations/clubs in your field
- Apply via referees from your network: Apply via people you know and make them as your referees.
- Subscribe to companies that do not post on seek: You think Google post their careers on seek.com? No they don’t 🙂
- Cold call companies: Some may reject you and some won’t. Do it if you are a good improviser and are able to engage with people fast.
- Post letters: In some company cultures a printed document is considered a task. So when they receive the cover letter with your resume in paper format they think there should something be done about it. Some say it works.
The key to a successful interview is impression
They key to a successful interview is to impress the interviewer. Experience and qualifications come second to this. If you are smart – which you are because you have migrated for a cause – you will immediately know within the first minutes if the interviewer likes you. Interviewer’s frequent affirmative nods, fixing on you has he/she has gone blank and frequent sparkling eyes means you will most probably get the job. If you did not feel these in the beginning of the interview, indirectly ask them why you have gone wrong. The bottom line is they should like you. This is why it is done via human/human interaction and not robotic question/robotic answer.
If you failed, no worries. The best interview teacher is failed interview.
Consider shortlisting rate only 10% or less
Being rejected by employers is normal. Consider the success rate for being shortlisted only 10% or even less. Do not let the rejection letters disappoint you. Even if you are rejected you can still write them and ask why you have been rejected because you want to improve your further employability. Re-apply previously rejected jobs if they are posted again. Many success stories exist. Naturally rejection does not always mean that you are not qualified for that job.
You have not got the job until you signed the contract
They may call you and say we want you or we absolutely love you. But do not stop applying unless you have signed the contract. Once I had successful interviews in a management consulting and they wrote me a superb cover letter to the client. These interviews took about a week so I thought it is finished especially with the killer cover letter they wrote for me to the client. But at final stage the client did not hire me. I was kind of disappointed at first but then used to it!
Shut up and do your work
Never fear. Nothing is authentic but you. Live your own rules. (A tempered version of chaotes’ creed, “Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted”)
My Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/salimgs
(c) 2015 Salim Ghazi Saeedi
به فارسی بخوانید
I am timelost. Amir Reza Koohestni’s play, “Timeloss” took me to 12 years earlier, the time I was despaired and depressed. I had a lost love (maybe alike Amir’s own story depicted at play’s comments in his website) and a semester took off as I did not like to continue at university. I discovered “Dance on Glasses” play from Reza Ashofteh’s review in Shargh newspaper and went to see it. I went to see in 7 consequent nights. I was so emotional, so recorded a few improvised electric guitar parts I had played being affected by the play.
Now I am recalling those days because of Timeloss play. I guess I am timelost…
I think nothing is more moving, deep and affecting than encountering one’s self. On Dance on Glasses stage I encountered myself and so within these years it has remained in my head as a sound yet cautioning dream…
Cautioning against the truth that we are lost. I have never found myself belonging to my time and place. Maybe like artists belonging to a time sooner or later than theirs…
I have no homeland, idol or memory. Sometimes I fall in love with things and people and I get busy myself. The same as I fell in love with Dance on Glasses actors whom I sought in Timeloss play. But they were not there.
I am lost. Among homelands, idols and memories. Like Timeloss characters that are lost among themselves, their recorded pictures and time.
Before going to see Timeloss, make sure to see Dance on Glasses too and of course it is your own problem if this play has not staged within past 8 years. Maybe you have to go back in time. Just be careful to lose no more!
Salim Ghazi Saeedi
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
When you confront a copyright infringement of your content in a website, the straightforward method to take the material down is to ask the website owner by standard DMCA procedure as explained in this wikiHow article: “How to Write a DMCA Take Down Request”.
As a musician, I have found many DMCA take-down cases going to great lengths of complexity. So in the following diagram I have shared my experience to help others in the process. At the end I have also provided comments about some steps. It would be great if you share your opinions or experiences with me (at end comments or my contact page) and I will update the procedure if needed. And of course I will not forget to mention your name and your kind assistance!
Please first study the diagram. Complementary comments regarding some of procedure steps follows:
Finding a website infringing your copyright
I suggest that you set up a Google Alert to search for your name or band’s name (enclosed in quotations). Then Google Alert will email you at each online coverage occurrence. This way, not only you will find out about your press coverage or fan discussions, but also infringing websites.
Who is responsible for hosting the infringing content?
At first, the content provider (website owner) and second, the hosting service provider (either free or paid). So according to various steps described in the diagram you should first try to contact the website owner itself and then the host provider. Generally in case the host provider’s service is free (like blogspot or wordpress.com, etc), they react faster.
Finding website owner’s email address
There are website owners that do not provide their address at their website. In these cases you should check whois.net or website’s domain NIC (Network Information Center) website: For “.fr” websites google “.fr NIC” i.e. www.afnic.fr or for “.eu” websites google “.eu NIC” i.e. www.eurid.eu and so on.
If whois.net or NIC website does not provide website owner’s contact address, contact their support. They usually take their customer’s identity issues seriously.
Issues regarding website owner’s email address
Confronting websites with no or non-responsive email address, you may face 4 scenarios in whois.net or other NIC host information websites:
- Website owner’s real email is available: That you may use for sending DMCA take down notice.
- Website owner has asked its host not to divulge its personal info: Instead you may find machine generated emails like email@example.com . Contacting these will notify the real owner.
- Hosting service uses websites like “Privacy Protect”. You may contact the owner through such 3rd party websites.
- There is no contact information: You may contact the host or NIC domain support to provide the information. More detailed steps are explained in the diagram.
Reporting the copyright infringement to 3rd party web service providers
One of the last resorts is to study the source code of infringing website pages. e.g. in Firefox you may right-click on the page and click “View Page Source”. You may notice that the website may have links to websites like apis.google.com or any other 3rd party web service – that may handle menus, photo galleries, search engine, etc. – engaged as website tools. In these cases you can contact these 3rd party web service providers and report. Bear in mind that they will only take action if their web service is actually a part of showing or processing the content you are claiming for.
And the last note, sometimes it is a good idea if you follow various scenario steps explained above steps concurrently to obtain faster results. Like working on 3rd party web services and hosting providers in parallel.
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
Dear presidents, leaders, prime ministers, kings and queens of the world,
Dear governments of the world,
As a human being who has been born a few years ago as a naked and innocent boy,
who also loves the arts and enjoys the days,
I would be thankful if you grant me the permission to walk.
I ask so because I heard in the news that you own some parts of the world.
You may reach me at www.salimworld.com
Thanks in advance,
Salim Ghazi Saeedi
Now human being is capable of procreating by more than 2 parents: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21806911
I think this is the beginning of a revolution about human’s notion toward his/her sexuality. No doubt popularization of this practice and its accessibility to public will change human’s dual conceptualization in course of time…
As an artist I can not help it but fantasize and produce words and music about the changes in society and human values we have ahead of ourselves for next hundreds of years of more advanced civilizations.