Monday, 11 March 2013

Zendeh's "Flock" Coming to Washington Arts Centre: A few words from the Composer



Flock is a production in which human feelings like , sadness, joy, fear, foreboding, are expressed not only by the actors but brought further to life by the music of Gateshead Composer Mariam Rezaei. A story of searching for oneself, and of family and hope.Three siblings set out to find what their late mother needed to discover. A magical tale of migration in a politically troubled 1920's Iran.

Jowheretogo's Jo Oliver was curious where all this creativity came from had a few questions for Mariam

JO: You draw upon a wide range of influences for the score for "Flock". Have you always been surrounded by an eclectic mix of music? Did your parents encourage listening to a wide range of music....or did you rebel?

MR: I am interested in a great variety of music and arts.  I believe that there is always something to learn from all art, even if its 'don't do this!"  
My parents have always encouraged me to explore the world and listen, taste and be part of other cultures.  I had a very strong classical music upbringing (my first instrument is the piano) which naturally evolved into learning about more about experimental music through the radio and working with different music teachers.  My home life was a real mixture of traditional Iranian music, western classical and plenty pop and Hiphop sounds.  My parents have always been very generous in encouraging me to flourish as a musician, even in this tough economic climate.

JO: "Flock" is all about migration and flight. What kind of musical backdrop were you aiming to create? 

MR: Flock has been a really collaborative process, working with Steven, writer, Nazli, Director, Rosie, Associate Director and working hands on with the actors.  The music is a mixture of songs, soundscapes, acousmatic and instrumental composition.  Working closely with the actors, writers and directors as the script and story evolved, the music aims to enhance the characters and illuminate the scenery.  There are very distinct settings throughout the story;  the Caspian rainforest, an Iranian rose garden, travelling different terrains across Iran.  Collaborating with choreography, text and acting, the soundworld is one more ingredient contributing to the energy of the show, moving through the story and at times, moving through time.

JO: What feelings were you hoping to evoke?

MR: There are moments of nostalgia, magic and bereavement in the story, unique to Zendeh's stories.  Using gestures from modern and traditional sound palettes, I have created a mixture of tracks to further evoke emotions set in the story.   At time I am explicitly extending the metaphor of the characters as birds, and at other times, bird song is intricately woven in the the composition of the music. 

JO: You're a very busy lady I know...I've benefited from your skills as a choirmistress for the Singing Stellas and and seen you as a keyboardist for Peculiar Disco Moves, and you've been doing all that amazing stuff with turntable ensemble Noisestra and your performance at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms. What next?

MR: I am working with NOISESTRA on new works and looking forward to an EP launch with Peculiar Disco Moves, April 12 at the Star and Shadow Cinema.  I have concerts throughout the year, including performing with Posset as WAX MAGNETIC in April as part of the MOPOMOSO tour and a performance of JigHop with Kathryn Tickell and Folkestra at the Sage Gateshead in the summer.  I am currently working in the studio on new material and new commissions for experimental audiovisual works around the country. Working with Zendeh has been a great pleasure and the unique collaborative process has been a joy to be a part of.  I am looking forward to hearing FLOCK in full at Northern Stage, around the North East and hopefully, around the country in the near future.




Thank you to Mariam for her insights and new about her exciting musical career. Flock was a very touching piece of work and the atmosphere was filled with the moods created by Mariam's music.

"Flock" is at the Washington Arts Centre on Thursday 14th March and soon to be at other venues in the region. You can buy the tickets online for the Washington date here. And look out for further chances to see "Flock" on Zendeh's Facebook Page.

You can the sounds of "Flock" on Soundcloud.

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