Tag Archives: Salim Ghazi Saeedi

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

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

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

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

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