COMMISSION BY BOREALIS FESTIVAL
In 2021 Mirsaeed has been chosen as one of the four composers for the “Borealis Ung Komponist” mentor program. He got a commission to compose 15 minutes of music for the Tabula Rasa voice ensemble and being part of the four workshops with the ensemble and mentors. His piece will be premiered at Borealis Festival 2022. The video and recording of the piece would be available on several digital platforms. To read more about the festival, and also his interview with the Borealis team you can check the link below.
FARASOO DUO, CO-FOUNDER:
PIANO & SANTOOR
In October 2019, Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah and the pianist Bjørk-Guinevere Kinsella Eide founded a duo called Farasoo. This duo consists of Piano and Chromatic Santoor, two percussive melodic instruments with almost the same infrastructure. They found this to be an interesting subject to explore. The combination of these instruments has rarely occurred before (not a single duo that we know of, they said), even in his country with several Santoor and Piano players. The challenge with this ensemble lies for both players, mainly because of the balance, overtones, melodic phrasing, and musical interaction.
Mainly, they combine the Norwegian and Persian repertoire and create bridges between the selected pieces with improvisation. But also they have started composing for this newly established duo. For them, it's important to get connected to the music, to expand the view of their listeners. It is also a way of modernizing traditional, classical, and folk music.
Farasoo is a Persian word and means «far beyond», and they chose this word as their duo’s name to illustrate that they are going far beyond something that already exists.
ROOYESH SANTOOR ENSEMBLE-
THE FIRST SANTOOR ENSEMBLE IN IRAN:
Santoor has several limitations due to its tuning system and is considered a limited but popular instrument in Iran. Mirsaeed, a Santoor player that started to play at the age of 8 years old, decided to look past the limitation by creating a large Santoor ensemble or orchestra. For this purpose, he gathered almost all the different kinds of Persian Santoor and started to manipulate them, to make them more like orchestral instruments rather than solo instruments. In the course of six months, he did several changes to the Santoors; he applied different types of strings (different materials) on different types of Santoors, mixed some types of strings, changed the standard thickness of the strings and size of the bridges, ordered new forms of bridges and finally assembled dampers in some parts of the instrument to reduce the resulted overtones. Finally, he started to compose for this ensemble and ended up being the conductor and artistic director of this ensemble.
After some months of rehearsals and having the first concert, he started to rearrange Beethoven's 5th symphony for this ensemble. They made a concert in one of the most prestigious venues in Iran, «Roodaky hall/Vahdat». The purpose of this was to prove that the Santoor family has a huge potential for development and can be used as an orchestra. He wanted to invite composers to compose for this undiscovered orchestra. He also planned to compose a symphony for this ensemble, himself. This step had to be canceled because of his yearning to learn more about conducting and composition that eventually led him to Norway.
“SELF-TEACHING GUIDE TO THE MODAL SYSTEMS OF IRANIAN MUSIC (RADIF) IN 12 LESSONS”:
Whenever you were to ask about the modal system of Iranian music as a student, you would be referred to a lot of theoretical books about the subject. Or more traditionally, they just suggested you play the whole book of «Radif» several times. «Radif» is the encyclopedia of ancient Iranian music, and it usually takes years to fully understand it.
After almost ten years of going through this process, Mirsaeed tried to teach it to his students with a different approach, somewhat like a shortcut. He thereafter composed a method that is not quite like going through difficult theoretical books, nor requires to play an instrument for ten years. This self-teaching method is a model that boosts the hearing ability of the reader toward Persian music and emphasizes the important elements that should be paid attention to, to recognize and distinguish the modes.
He has taught and revised the method for five years and eventually published it as a book in 2015. The second edition of the book was released in 2020. This book has been taught by him and other colleagues of him at universities and private institutes of Iran.
CHROMATIC SANTOOR TRIO:
Traditionally, Santoor is a solo instrument. Of course, it can be played with an ensemble, but other instruments rather than Santoor.
Considering the fact that there are several unique Santoors differentiated in size and range of sound, Mirsaeed started to work on the idea of establishing a Santoor trio. for this purpose, he asked two of his friends/great players to play the common Santoors (Sol kook) and himself by Chromatic Santoor. This was the first time of having this kind of trio Santoor in Iran. After composing various music for this trio and having several concerts in different festivals and venues, the idea of creating the Santoor orchestra emerged, which led to the next project.
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