Sculpting with sound, an artist crafts multi-sensoral experiences
Navigating the strata of sound, composer and visual artist Kamran Sadeghi maneuvers a digital diving bell that harmoniously discovers new territories forged between art and music. Culling sounds from eclectic sources such as found objects, a grand piano and the chamber of a nuclear cooling tower, Sadeghi weaves together an electronic topography that is both hypnotic and haunting. Sadeghi explains, "I would take the time to learn something and after doing so, I would use it for something other than what it was originally designed for, or I would just take it apart and or break it out of boredom."
Born in Iran, Sadeghi and his family relocated to America around the time of Iran's Islamic Revolution. Although the indigenous tones of Persian folk and pop music were prevalent, Sadeghi spent most of his time as a visual artist growing up. At the age of nineteen, Sadeghi channeled his artistic talents into music, self-educated on curiosity and record stores. "I would spend a lot of time in [record stores], talking to people and listening to new music. They were my library for many, many years," reflects Sadeghi.
In 2000, Sadeghi began to experiment with traditional instruments and computer synthesis, culminating in four full-length albums first released in 2005 under the alias, Son of Rose. Establishing a name to evoke a spirit, Son of Rose was created to "explore and experiment with electronic music theories and techniques." Under Son of Rose, Sadeghi deftly fuses patterns of sine wave frequencies and polymorphic rhythms with a measure of warmth and timbre. "I'm often using sound as a physical material, much like a sculptor would with their preferred materials," elaborates Sadeghi.
Delving further into the relationship between rhythm and space, Sadeghi launched the evocative album entitled, "Through Thickness," recorded under his given name. Released by Dragon Eye, electronic artist Yann Novak's label, "Through Thickness" forms part of Sadeghi's "Kha series." Referencing the Sanskrit word for "zero," the numeric marker in tabular arrangements, the Kha series escalates into an exotic interplay of beats and movement. Sadeghi states, "It was a way to create a platform for me to focus specifically on rhythmic structures, both for sound and image. I like to create a series of work. They become more like a study that I develop over long periods of time."
By exploring ambient dimensions, Sadeghi has also studied how space forms sound. In 2008, Sadeghi was commissioned to create and record a musical piece inside a nuclear cooling tower. Using the tower as an instrument,Sadeghi amplified an original composition and re-recorded it with the attached echo effect; repeating the procedure to affect a lulling, drone state. Sadeghi reflects. "It was a serial experience. That night I had my first acoustic dream' where I could almost feel the sound of that place in my sleep." Sadeghi also explored tonal resonance through his collaboration with the dance company, Zoe | Juniper, using twelve individual speakers to spatially project his live score.
Harkening back to his visual artist roots, Sadeghi has also interwoven color and shapes into his compositions, creating installations that have been internationally displayed at galleries including the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Staalplaat in Berlin. In 2010, Sadeghi showcased his animated graphical score, "Pattern Recognition" at the 4Culture Gallery, an emergent, electronic art space. "The piece is like an animated Rubik's Cube that is being moved by the music. I wanted to explore how the eye follows the ear, or vice versa," describes Sadeghi. Intuitively exploring sound and images, Sadeghi describes his approach: "I'm hyper aware of acoustic space. I am always listening to the difference between what it sounds like 'over here' compared to 'over there.' I like to explore the threshold of sound and music in space."
Continuing to develop musical narratives, Sadeghi is currently working in collaboration with Soundwalk Collective on a three-part album series entitled "Medea," which chronicles the collective's nautical journey along the coast of the Black Sea in the mythical spirit of Medea and is due for release in 2012.