On Eleknoise ensemble at Tehran Contemporary Music Festival
by Kamyar Salavati

Radif Project, a repertoire for Setar and electronic sounds, composed by Eleknoise trio ensemble was performed by the same ensemble in Tehran Contemporary Music Festival. This project, as its name indicates, is an attempt for associating between Radif and electronic music. It is obvious that in such a performance, opening new paths, potentials and meanings for Radif music or electronic music in their new interactive context is of substantial importance. A significantly contemporary host has a guest from a non-modern musical culture in an eastern country.
In short, this and only this was the concert: limited references as a couple of motives in Daramad-e Shur, then almost the exact representation of Salmak (without variation, without any innovation or being interpretive), resolving the rest of this Gusheh in a semi-noise sound, moving to Owj in Shur, emphasizing on Shahed of Dashti and at the end closing the piece with a part of Reng-e Sharashoub. In fact, the program began with Daramad and ended with Reng. Such a repertoire would be considered conservative even in a scholastic reading; let alone in a program that carries “experimental music” in its name.
In addition, there was no meaningful relationship between what Setar was performing and the background electronic sounds. Simplified Radif-based music was up rooted from another place as a form of raw material and with complete severance was superimposed on electronic sounds and some pictures which were reminding of psychedelic performances. There was no special identity for the background noise as well. Their exceptional uniformity hardy could establish a sort of relationship with Shur and Dashti. Technical limitations of the Setar player was not helping this mess either. Even this simple and insignificant concert was suffering from inadequate performance skill.
Leaving all these aside, conditions of the venue was extremely unsuitable for music performance: traffic noise from Hafiz street and the hall’s sizable cooler system have become a part of the concert and thanks to poor sound design in the venue, Setar was hardly audible.

This review is written for The Fourth Tehran Contemporary Music Festival. All rights reserved for www.noise.reviews