Tag Archives: art rock

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

Published: October 24, 2012 | Comments: 0

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

Published: October 19, 2012 | Comments: 0

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”.

Published: October 15, 2012 | Comments: 0

Upcoming 2012 album: Expressionist microtonal approach toward Oriental Art Rock/Metal

Salim Ghazi Saeedi will release a new album in 2012 soon. An expressionist microtonal approach toward Oriental Art Rock/Metal, this album will be Salim’s 6th album composition since 2006.

Keep informed at http://www.salimworld.com

Published: August 16, 2012 | Comments: 0

Digging RIO: Rock in Opposition Resurgence in Iran?

“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):

  1. Music Composition
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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!”
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
  2. Composer’s Environment
    1. 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?
    2. War
      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.
    3. 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…
  3. Composer’s perspective
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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?

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…

Published: May 9, 2012 | Comments: 0

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

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