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The Jester Reviving… Music Moves in Mysterious Ways

Sovereign Album

Sovereign Album (2007)

Did you know that Sovereign album has an unofficial full title as “Sovereign, as sung by a jester” mentioned in its CD booklet? Now Gerald Van Waes at “Psyche Music” has added an interesting new angle to this concept:

It is a shame because here we hear a composer’s vision with an open mind, and with an open progressive sound and compositional evolution, the elements are free within its limitations, as if getting a professional vision trapped within an amateurish situation, the position of a joker amongst kings showing a different way, not able to lose its own small position. (Sovereign album Review, “Psyche Music”, Gerald Van Waes, Nov 2011)

Sovereign Booklet, p1

Sovereign Booklet, p1

Well… I guess this is obvious that I – as the composer of this album – am the jester (or joker[1]) reciting the story[2] and I truly have found myself in this “small” position… Actually it is not because I enjoy this position or not. It is how I have born – in Iran where even ordinary people prefer to mix myth and reality even in their daily matters… Maybe this is the same reason that made Ferdowsi to write “Book of the Kings” (Shahnameh) and then inspired me to record “Sovereign”… I guess it is worthwhile to mention the quote from Jean Cocteau, that is also put in Sovereign album’s booklet:

History consists of truths which in the end turn into lies, while myth consists of lies which finally turn into truth.

Soveriegn Booklet

Sovereign album

Respectively this jester/joker has also found himself singing in progressive rock genre in a country with no understanding or support of it. And as Gerald put it he is “trapped within an amateurish situation”…

But here lies a secret… As self-awareness makes one able to discover the whole wonder world within his self – letting him to make the myth, history.

Music moves in mysterious ways!

Listen to Sovereign album here. Thanks Gerald Van Waes at Psyche Music for opening up this perceptive!


[1] Don’t miss the song Joker at Abrahadabra album, which has become the highest rated song among all Arashk tracks on iTunes!

[2] Apart from the instrumental story of music there even exist a textual story at 2nd and 3rd pages of the booklet.

Published: November 18, 2011 | Comments: 0

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

Published: October 19, 2011 | Comments: 0

In Between Doing and Undoing

There is an urge for doing and there is an urge for undoing. I feel like composing music when these two meet.

Published: August 27, 2011 | Comments: 0

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”.

Published: July 28, 2011 | Comments: 0

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/

Published: June 17, 2011 | Comments: 0

Am I a Maniac?

William Hogarth

Honestly, I think I have all the symptoms recited in this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mania So I think I am eligible to be known as a “Maniac”. But the best part is that – in my opinion – they are all positive characteristics…

Mania has often been thought of as the opposite of depression. It is usually a feeling of well-being, energy and optimism. These feelings can get so intense that the person loses contact with reality. When this happens the person believes in strange things about their personality and they can often act in embarrassing ways and can sometimes even act in dangerous ways.

I think I depicted “losing contact with reality” at my best in Iconophobic album as I said

I don’t know if Iconophobia is really a psychological problem but I liked the idea of morbid alienation toward images, icons and in general, reality.

Meanwhile Sea of Tranquility e-zine has called my Iconophobic album containing “claustrophobic visions” or having an “impression is of an aching emptiness” as a “strong statement from my life in my home city of Tehran”.

Generally I don’t know if this is a prevalent condition among musicians or not… But in the meantime I think for creating such an abstract art like music, I had to balance those odd qualities with unusual amounts of “feeling of well-being, energy and optimism”. Actually to me those are all ways of surviving and breathing in the realm which our eyes perceive as The World – as weird, dark and bright it seems all at once…

Iconophobic (2010)

Iconophobic is my world and I love it; however dangerous it maybe as DPRP webzine calls: “You need to tread carefully if you are entering the Iconophobic world of Salim Ghazi Saeedi. You have been warned.”

Published: May 10, 2011 | Comments: 0

Multicultural Sonic Unconsciousness

After releasing Iconophobic album, something extraordinary happened. Critics started comparing my sound to composers and bands I have never listened to. Here are four examples:

  • “In many ways it would be more natural to hear this kind of music coming from a French performer than an Iranian one.” – Gary Hill, Music Street Journal
  • “I say … the entire Belgian chamber rock scene as an influence on making Iconophobic” -Peter van Haerenborgh, Progwereld
  • “Salim was born in Iran in 1981 and at age 29, he sounds much more adapt to the French/Belgium electronic progressive rock school of the 70′s that stand up so well to this day.” – Lee Henderson, ProgNaut
  • “If I had listened without knowing the author, I probably would have said: Cute the new album by Clint Mansell!” – Emanuele Brizzante, Good Times Bad Times Blog

The interesting point here is I have no way to prove – however unnecessary – that I had never listened to Belgian prog rock of the 70s or been a follower of Clint Mansell’s works! For me, this is only a testimony of the multicultural nature of human collective unconsciousness from which I have hunted the sounds for Iconophobic album.

Listen to Iconophobic album in full-length at: http://www.salimworld.com/album%20-%20iconophobic.htm

Published: February 7, 2011 | Comments: 0

Music is Bloody! A True Story

Salim Ghazi SaeediA “progressive” musician knows no border; but it seems that Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s ancestors enjoy hunting him down in his veins!

Iran, Tehran – Salim grew up in Iran; a country too proud of its ancient art. Nevertheless Salim from his early childhood, barely followed Iranian traditional music. But interestingly enough, now after 5 years of music composing and releasing 4 albums mostly in progressive rock, Salim is constantly receiving notions about his Middle Eastern themes and using Persian influences.

The oriental mystery within eastern musical themes along with their dance elements versus raw energy restrained in western rock could result in a thrilling experience. Meanwhile to Salim’s own surprise: “My music listening habit has mostly been focused around jazz, blues and modern rock. I’ve never studied eastern music or dedicatedly listened to such records! Actually if there is any eastern influence discernible in my works, it has happened involuntarily.”

In this regard, one may conclude that as a musician, no matter which genre you prefer or what listening habit you adopt, sometimes you cannot elude your ancestors, who may have hunted you in your veins for centuries! The following speculations on Salim’s latest release, Iconophobic, may testify the eastern lore within Salim’s veins while his ears dignify western tradition:

- “It mixes classical, rock, jazz and Persian music to create a mish mash of pain, longing and anger.” -Stave Magazine, Christy Claxton, Aug 2010 [more]
- “Equal parts fusion, classical, heavy rock, and Persian” -Spiritual Prog, Oct 2010 [more]
- “You do hear the definite eastern sound mixed in with most of his songs.” -ProgNaut webzine, Lee Henderson, Oct 2010 [more]
- “We can appreciate the writing skills of Salim and his great imagination to create images and sounds to merge styles that are located in the middle of far apart East and West” [In Italian] -Arlequins webzine, Jessica Attene, Oct 2010 [more]
- “There are definitely some Middle-Eastern sounds…” -Music Street Journal, Issue 85, Gary Hill, Dec 2010 [more]
- “With his one-man band, the artist also detour into areas such as fusion / jazz-rock and oriental music.” [In German] -Babyblaue Prog, Siggy Zielinskim, Oct 2010 [more]
- “Asian-Iranian folklore patterns combined with Western rock music.” [In German] -Progressive Newsletter #70, Volkmar Mantei, Nov 2010 [more]

Published: January 29, 2011 | Comments: 0

Oud and Electric Guitar: Ancient Lore vs. Modern Technology

When There is More Beauty in the Contrary“an instrumental jewel that would have corpses dancing in the graveyard.” – Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, MuzikReviews.com, Jan 2011 [more]

Iran, Tehran, 1/1/11 – Unusual as it may sound, a musician of classical Persian background working in collaboration with a rock musician. “When There is More Beauty in the Contrary” is a single release by Negar Bouban and Salim Ghazi Saeedi featuring oud and electric guitar.

As the name suggests, in this song the aesthetic features are to be found in contradictory elements. “Combining traditionally dissimilar forces into one cohesive composition.” (Matthew Forss, ReviewYou.com, Jan 2011); even the composers themselves have different music backgrounds: Negar Bouban, a university lecturer in Musical Acoustics and an expert in Mesopotamia rooted musical systems versus Salim Ghazi Saeedi, a progressive rock and jazz fusion musician.

In a sense, this song is a portrayal of ancient lore versus modern technology. Negar says: “If you follow the story of oud and electric guitar through time, along with their historical common backgrounds, you’ll come to a view with beautiful contradiction in their respective time and cultures, yet binding past and present, tradition and modernity.”

In “When There is More Beauty in the Contrary” there are screaming guitars balanced with eastern enchantment of oud’s sound. Rock instrumentation and classical Persian ensemble find themselves in harmony, trying to recite the beauties that could be hidden behind self-constructed barriers of mind… Salim says: “In this song we both took an approach with no presumed framework. In terms of musical integrity among genres I think it is the only way to produce a creative yet genuine work”.

For watching this single’s video and more information please visit When There is More Beauty in the Contrary. You may also see Negar Bouban’s website at www.negarbouban.com

Published: January 20, 2011 | Comments: 0

Iconophobic: Satire, bizarre phobias and embryonic love

Iran, Tehran – Rock music is of course not rooted in Iran, but the enticement within the genre has strikingly pierced Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s heart in his hometown. Living in a country with total domination of traditional culture, Salim has globally released his 4th album, Iconophobic. An album as a “strong statement from Saeedi on life in his home city of Tehran” (Steven Reid, Sea of Tranquility webzine, Sep 2010) or let’s say “a stream of conscious story without words.” (Christy Claxton, Stave Magazine, Sep 2010 )

Iconophobic is an instrumental concept album on “fear of the world of imagery”, composed and performed for electric guitar, bass and synthesizers by Salim, hiring various elements of classical, electronic and progressive rock music to communicate artist’s extreme feelings: Satire, bizarre phobias, ecstatic joy and embryonic love are themes of this daydream…

“Pictorial rock”, Salim says “is a term I use for my music that is usually based on series of mental images, a nightmare or maybe dreams of a sound sleep…” In this regard the album is accompanied by visualizations. “… However that as a listener, you have to wait for the pictures to materialize in your mind!” Salim adds. The album is available for purchase at www.salimworld.com . Salim is currently preparing this album for performance with a medium-sized band.

Track Listing
1. Composer’s Laughter
2. A Satire on Hell
3. And My Heart Aches Like 100 Aching Hearts
4. Asiyeh
5. The Songful Song of Songbirds
6. Transcend Ecstasy with Ecstasy
7. Don’t You See the Cheerful Rainbow
8. Music is Haram
9. Dance in Solitude
10. Eternal Melancholy Of Loving Women
11. Give my Childhood Back
12. Breast-Milk
13. I am Beautiful, Are You Beautiful?

Published: December 20, 2010 | Comments: 0