The Music of Amir Baghiri
Introduction about New Sounds
In the late 80's, I used to write a New Sound Music column in a magazine called "Whole Life Network". The magazine was published in the San Francisco Bay Area, and previous to that, I wrote an overview article about this genre of music in Mundus Novus. Whole Life Network later republished my overview as the first article of my column which was followed by my reviews of different new sound music pieces in the subsequent issues of the magazine for three years. If I was writing the overview article today, I would not write it the same way, but overall I think my article is still a pretty accurate overall description of this genre of music. I used the terminology of "New Age Music" in the past to refer to this genre of music, but I do not like using that term anymore. Nowadays there are some cultish groups, mostly against science, who call themselves "New Age", and I prefer to avoid using the term. I wish this music were called *futuristic music*. But among the names that are common currently, such as Space Music and New Sounds, the latter is more encompassing, although I have no problem with the former either. The term "New Sounds", was first used by John Schaefer, in his excellent book "NEW SOUNDS". Below are the links to my article in English, and also a link to the abridged Persian translation of my article:
Amir Baghiri's Music
Recently I was fortunate to come across the music of an Iranian composer by the name of Amir Baghiri. It was completely coincidental and I find myself to be so lucky to have found his music. I noticed that his music was so unique and yet it was in the same class of the works of Steve Roach and Michael Stearns, whom I highly respect and I had recommended in my article of 1988, as the most advanced group of the works of this genre, and later I found out that Amir has actually collaborated with them in many works.
Amir's music is very unique and original and it is a highly sophisticated meditative music. Right now that I am writing this review, I am listening to his CD called "Time" which I highly recommend. It reminds me of one of my most favorite works of this music called "Dreamtime Return" by Steve Roach, but it is very unique in itself, and a real superb piece of meditative music. This is not pop new age like Yanni and is a real work of meditative space music, where you would need to listen to the work at least 30 times before you can see the different layers of imagination to unfold and you would create your own imagery of the music after attentive listening. It is just absolutely great.
In the late 80's, when I was very active in searching the works of the new sounds, among over 4000 pieces of work of this music that I had listened to, I could not find any Iranian artist whom I could say has produced a work in this genre in the real deep meditative style of the likes of Steve Roach. In my article, I had mentioned Shahdad Roohani who had done a couple of works himself and also had collaborated with Yanni in what was more of popular style of this genre but Roohani's works were closer to classical than really new age. I could not find any other Iranian artist whom I really could call new age. Axiom of Choice, which is a nice piece of work, and has some depth to it, comes close to this genre, but Amir's work is the first among the Iranian artists that I can fully identify with this genre of music. I am proud to see a high-caliber work of this music produced by an Iranian artist.
Amir's music has a deep *meditative* effect. Repeated attentive listening sometimes up to 40 or 50 times, even for people who are familiar with this music, is necessary to experience this kind of work thoroughly. After listening many times, the multiple layers begin to differentiate like a rainbow. Your auditory system will be like a prism and this music will act like a white light breaking into a rainbow. A resonance with different parts of one's auditory system such as a trance-like state may even follow. His work is intense and is not necessarily a relaxation music. Also it is *not* something to listen to while driving. It is best to be listened to with full attention and in solitude, at least the first 30 times you listen to it. It requires undivided attention and is not good as background music and can be even annoying for such use. Amir's works remind me of masterpieces like Michael Stearn's "Planetary Unfolding", Steve Roach's "Dreamtime Return" and "Quiet Music", Kevin Braheny's "The Way Home", and Jonn Serrie's "And the Stars be with you".
Finally my congratulations to Amir Baghiri for creating such a great masterwork, his album "Time". I am beginning to learn his works as I listen to his works more and more and it is a really deep meditative musical experience listening and discovering his music.
For a full description of all the works of Amir Baghiri, please check his website below:
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
Sept 18, 2002