Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ccrma fall concert

is time for another amazing night at ccrma in the form of a cagean musiccircus. there are all kinds of computer music in the program: installations, live performances, iphone music, and tape pieces:

i was very inspired by benoit mandelbrot recently. since he passed away about a month ago, i went back to my mathematical interests and thought of using fractal algorithms to generate sound. i know i'm not the first person thinking about it but it inspired me to create new sound textures. in case you are not familiar with fractal geometry and are not much into mathematics to read about it i recommend this great documentary: hunting the hidden dimension.

i will be performing the piece fractale at ccrma's listening room as part of the cagean musiccircus tomorrow night. the piece has two sections; in the first one i tried to use fractals in a more rhytmic fashion whereas in the second part i have taken a more melodic approach. also having the listening room to create multichannel music is inspiring.

Monday, October 25, 2010

treasure island music festival

last weekend we went to treasure island music festival. it was definitely very different from european versions of it. music-wise the first day was more beat music that i rather go to see and the second day mostly indie. i really enjoyed deadmou5's show. great visuals, entertaining, and some good beats. kruder and dorfmeister were also one of the reasons i went to the festival on sunday, but they lacked energy that day. i used to see them in flex in vienna almost every week, but they used to spin more drum and base than lounge music. their show was still good but didn't make me dance. another entertaining band that day was die antwort but not the austrian one, the south african one. their words were a bit too harsh but they were entertaining.

the festival was very well organized. there were shuttle buses all day long from sf to the festival and back, great view of the city from the island, and an an awesome silent disco for taking breaks from the crowd. you could listen to the dj's music over a headphone and dance or just chill out in the silence and see people dancing to the beats.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the chemical brothers

since i have been a fan of the chemical brothers for ages and i recently saw them live again i had to write a short post about them. when i first heard their exit planet dust album in late 90s i could not resist their beats. the first live show i saw them was in 2002 in vienna where they began with the amazing track it began in afrika ka ka! it seems that they were using a proper analog set; a couple of doepfer sequencers, a nord modular, machinedrum, monomachine and ... it was one of those mind blowing live shows that i could not stop thinking about for ages and they have never moved me as much as that show any more.

last time i saw them was very different. they made less industrial beats and more melodic tracks but it was again amazing in a different way. since 2008 they have been working with two amazing visual artists: adam smith and marcus lyall. these two artists have totally brought a fresh atmosphere to the chemical brothers' live shows. two weeks ago in oakland was also very similar to what i saw three years ago; still amazing but nothing new. check out my favorite track horsepower on vimeo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

slork spring concert

we are having the annual spring concert of slork tonight at 8.00 pm in dinkelspiel auditorium at stanford. the diversity of the slork members this time has made a very interesting combination of instruments and compositions which is a new and unique experience.

we are not playing any of the laptop orchestra classics such as drones, clix and chrystalis which i all love but has been performed too many times. all the pieces are brand new and also the implementations behind them.

my group has worked on a twitter piece. we have a python server that parses all the tweets related to a couple of hash-words (for example tonight will be #slork and #music) and makes trees of the tweets regarding their closeness in the number of words they have in common. then the server sends osc messages to chuck and processing where we sonify and visualize the tweets. the sonification of the tweets is more like an echo of each tweet arriving in the engine and we change the timbre, sound sequences, modes and tempo in real time.

the concept of the piece is to engage performers and audience in an interactive experience. during the concert slorkers will be tweeting on their slork machines and audience can tweet on their smart phones. if they want their tweets to be seen and heard they can use #slork, #music and #technology in the text of their tweet. if you can't make it to the concert, make sure you take part by tweeting.

there are also several other interesting compositions, from a "virtual headbang orchestra" and a "bell choir" to "sonification of the human brain waves".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


we have a chamber concert tomorrow night at the knoll. we perform all new works for laptops, ipad, iphone; all instruments and pieces developed by the members of the stanford laptop orchestra.

we have made a shaker instrument that is controlled by the laptop's accelerometer. there are several gesture based instruments that sound amazing, some drum instruments and of course a reactipad(reactable for ipad.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

modulations at soma arts

modulations is a yearly event organized by amazing ccrma community thanks to carr, sasha and every one. the event is a collection electronic music performances, sound installations, djs and interactive art. please join us tomorrow night at soma arts for this years modulations.

details about the event are posted on:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

work of women artist: barcmut + gray area

come and see us this thursday at gaffta (gray area foundation for the arts) at 7.00 pm.
there'll be julia ogrydziak, cheryl e. leonard, surabhi saraf and me presenting some of our recent works in computer music.
barcmut is a fantastic community of computer musicians and audio geeks in the bay area and i have learned a lot from the experienced people in this community. i'm glad that the event is in gaffta which is an amazing non profit gallery in tenderloin that brings a variety of digital art and culture together.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the political me

my mind has been very busy with all that has been going on in my birthplace in the last six months and it has been very sad to see how people are living under a brutal dictatorship. these days i have been more nostalgic because of the 30th anniversary of the dictatorship in iran and seeing how the government is celebrating 30 years of brutality by putting so many young students in prisons ...

i have a very diverse musical background. studied western classical music since childhood and never practiced persian radif music. one of my heroes was my cousin's violin professor who used to be the tehran symphony's conductor. professor heshmat sanjari has composed some masterpieces of persian symphonic music. one of them is "persian pictures". this was the first symphony i heard live in my life when i was a kid and it brings me back to my childhood. although my favorite movement "dance of dayereh" is a very happy one, it can make me dance or cry at the same time. i took a short excerpt of the theme of this movement and mixed a piece to commemorate students who have been demonstrating in iran in the last six months, who have been in prison and who have lost their lives ...
i also wanted to show my respect to the tehran symphony. i read this article in nyt and felt sorry for them having to represent a government that has been so harsh to them and to music for the last thirty years.

click on the political prisoner to listen to my piece.

Monday, February 1, 2010

inspired by trimpin

on weekend "trimpin: the sound of invention directed" by "peter esmonde" was screened in "red vic movie house" in san francisco. if you don't know trimpin, you should definitely watch this movie. he is an amazing inventor, engineer, sound and multimedia artist and sculptor. i am totally inspired after watching this movie and we are very fortunate in the bay area that he'll be at stanford next year to collaborate with sica(stanford institute for creativity & the arts).

Friday, January 8, 2010

steve reich at stanford

"steve reich" and "beryl korot" were at stanford last night. it was such an honor to see them in person and hearing their talk about their collaborative audio/visual works. reich is one of my favorite composers and i loved to see how modest he and his wife are and i enjoyed their sense of humor.

they mainly discussed "three tales" and "the cave". both works are from 90s. three tales shows concerns on new technology, cloning, wars and weapons ... you can either get the whole dvd or watch parts of it on a dvd of several modern pieces called ohm. unfortunately the video can't show the whole work since there were live performers and singers in addition to several screens of visuals in the live performance in 90s.
the cave is an interesting look at people from different religions. it's interesting to see how diverse the interpretations of different people about the same story could be.