Iran, Tehran: Dear People of the World,
As I was born near the place I am standing right now, I have read in some newspapers that the world is a beautiful place. So I have decided to embark a journey to see how it look likes.
After considerable amount of thinking now I am sure and confident what I need to start:
(1) I have a pair of shoes, that are clean and somehow polished.
(2) This morning I ate my breakfast in full, so I have the energy required for a considerable amount of time.
(3) I have a beating heart in my chest motivating my steps. So I have no doubt.
I am all in love and ready. So please prepare my stay and all your hospitality.
PS: I am also carrying entertainment things by myselfl like my guitar and cards. There will be fun!
Salim Ghazi Saeedi
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’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
Iran, 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
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:
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.
Info on namoWoman album is available at: http://www.salimworld.com/album-namowoman.htm
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
“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”.
I declare that I have no country.
I was born in Iran.
I have always adored English and American music culture.
I die for Arabian belly dance.
As a composer I have been mostly compared to Belgian bands.
For no apparent reason I am strongly attracted to Japanese culture.
For more non-apparent reasons I have always been hypnotized by movies and stories revolving Germany and World War II.
My website is available in English, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, German, Dutch, Italian, French, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Russian, Slovenian and Turkish.
I declare that I have no country.
Sometimes I feel a little lonely about it. But looking at the map and seeing so many country names there, reminds me of million eyes ready to reflect the world within their owners’ minds…
Having millions of worlds inside, is human being in need of having a country at all? I seriously doubt that…
Published: June 11, 2012
“Vacuum fluctuation; I call it originality.” Every now and then, the energy level of the vacuum fluctuates. Spontaneously; and it is a violation of the law of conservation of energy in physics. Maybe the resurgence of Rock in Opposition in Iran obeys similar laws in musics!
Back in 1970s a collective of avant-garde rock bands in Europe “united in their opposition to the music industry that refused to recognize their music” and initiated a music current called “Rock in Opposition” (RIO). I guess no serious RIO listener denies that this genre essentially corresponds with rebellious nature of its composers. Dark, moody and painstaking.
But what is the true motivation behind such views? Social injustice? Poor financial situation of the composer? Artists’ personal and psychological eccentricities? Or maybe merely a pretention to stand out of society to attract attention?
Well sure I am not competent enough to judge above questions. Since I have not been closely in contact with western society’s norms as RIO’s home and even worse I have never been a listener of this genre. But let me examine the case of my own confrontation to RIO:
Being raised within cultural restrictions in Iran that hinder innovation and openmindness, and a child of 1979 Iran-Iraq war, I experimentally started composing music by self-studying. In this situation most interestingly I share an important characteristic with original RIO bands: I was not able to distribute my works in Iran – since this genre is no doubt a reflection of an unrestrained mind. So I started publishing and promoting my works myself – outside Iran. Then among various press coverages like these I became aware of RIO genre for the first time:
“Somebody’s actually making progressive rock music in Iran? And it’s RIO?”
-Iconophobic Review, GEPR, Fred Trafton, Jun 2011 (Read more)
“Saeedi again proves himself to be a very capable composer in Rock in Opposition vein.”
-Human Encounter Review, Vital Weekly #821, Dolf Mulder, Feb 2012 (Read more)
“Rock in Opposition version of The Enid?”
-Iconophobic Review, Progressive Area, CHFAB, Apr 2012 (Read more)
Of course we know that Rock in Opposition is more a historical title than stylistic. But as a musician who has approached this genre involuntarily I guess I could represent an exemplary case to point out some RIO qualities by enumerating my own compositional habits (Critics have discerned RIO in all 5 albums I have composed so far):
- Music Composition
- Music composition as a painful process
While composing I am very irritated and in pain. I have always found improvising on the instrument ecstatic and pleasing but music composing has been painful to me. Maybe because I have to honestly confess to everything.
- Music as a byproduct of creative intent
An artist tries to express himself. The medium is an excuse. So for myself I call music composition an involuntarily byproduct of creativity. Despite composing almost one album for every year in past 6 years I have never had an urge to do so. Maybe because music composition is not my ultimate goal in life.
- Wildly diverse musical influences
As I have said in my biography page, I guess the formation of progressive rock genre could be a consequent of my diversified music listening habit. “Let your mind free, and it becomes progressive!”
- Minimalism: Miniatures of exaggerated feelings
Quoting from myself from a 2012 interview with Arlequins webzine: “I like exaggerated details and very subtle techniques of the instrument” and “I always spend a lot of time making melodies vertically rich”.
And maybe as an eastern habit, I always have also welcomed issuing short statement about my thoughts. Aphorism, as a literal minimalist approach.
- Innovation as a rule
For every musical motive, I choose variations very delicately based on various parameters: It should be innovative, no unnecessary repetition accepted, deeply colorful and emotional.
I may compare this excessive lust for innovation to Outsider Art movement that I have always found fascinating. Of course in order to receive Prog rock lable, a work should not necessarily be that much avant-garde. But sure “knowing no boundaries” is its essential characteristic.
- Music composition as a painful process
- Composer’s Environment
- Large scale social contradictions: Lawful anarchy or anarchic law?
Regarding law and lawfulness, to my experience Iran has a very paradoxical situation. In a nutshell, a religious country with millions of anarchists. Does Hassan-i Sabbah ring any bell?
As a child of 1979 Iran-Iraq war, I greatly inspired from terror and pains of this human “classic”. I feel war is one reason I have been drawn into music composition.
- No support from music industry
Who would write articles about RIO if a composer like me doesn’t? Every now and then we hear progressive rock festivals cancelling or being held limited around the world more than ever… Needless to say the music industry situation inside Iran with frictions even with simplest forms of rock…
- Large scale social contradictions: Lawful anarchy or anarchic law?
- Composer’s perspective
- Boundary defying thought
I guess information explosion age – by constantly confronting contradictory views and multicultural aspects of human belief – has greatly helped to develop this notion in human beings that everything is conceivable in limitless forms. In composing terms I can translate it into constant effort to bypass the structures and being creative in an unpredictable approach.
- Occult or Futurist views
These views in a way relate to a greater form of “boundary defying thought” and are prevalent among RIO and other closely related genres literature.
- Maniac Feelings
I categorize manic feelings as unconscious motivations behind composing music. For a lengthy discussion check out my blog post “Am I a Maniac?”
- Boundary defying thought
From a listener perspective as I became aware of RIO genre and started listening to these bands, I felt an interesting affinity with some the works. As an example when I listened to Vivisection track by Israeli RIO band, Ahvak on Cuneiform’s website I wrote: “I can immediately sympathize with centuries of pain within sounds of these composers”. So let me call the universal affinity with RIO genre, RIO sympathy… Connecting restless souls of music lovers throughout time and place…