Artist Focus: Nasim Khorassani – #IranUKSonics

nasim khorassan01

“For me, dance is a basic necessity to understanding how to play an instrument”

As part of our #IranUKSonics residency running until Dec 20th, we feature a series of interviews with each of the five selected participants.

A master’s graduate in composition at the University of Tehran, Khorassani’s music centres around acoustic instruments. Her electronic works are mostly pure sounds, for example water, which are edited with pure data.  As a composer she has a wide range of influences, including Shostakovich, John Cage and Keith Jarrett.

My relationship to sound:

I think my first memory of music belongs to my childhood and watching TV programs, as a child I used to amuse myself by reproducing TV music theme tunes on my tiny keyboard. My elder siblings used to listen to classical music and my brother was a self-taught guitarist. Thus, classical music was all around me and my deep interest for it developed unconsciously.
I’ve dealt with various art forms whole my life, but music is the only thing that I seriously felt being unable to live without.
It’s very difficult to say what exactly happens to my inside when I listen to music, because it is almost a feeling of another world where a unique language is spoken and invites me to follow it.
I am not completely aware of how sound art is developing as a scene but I hear sooner or later about interesting ideas. There are impressive artists who are very creative with sound.
I believe that artists in Iran are active like other places in the world, I do feel a renaissance of music in Iran. Abroad there are many educated musicians who are coming back to Iran and training young musicians with modern approaches. Composition students are very sensitive and working hard to make their best in basic knowledges. I feel lots of energy among young music students who attend various courses and classes to catch anything about music. My teenage violin students express critical and logical ideas about music, which makes me really happy to hear, and sometimes I feel they are my teachers!
My feelings about dance are that it is a completely individual art, and I have been to Germany doing a dance project once. Dance has its own silent music. I believe that dance elements exist in our everyday movements; walking, wearing clothes, turning the head towards a subject, etc. And the details of any human movement vary from one person to another. They are different in rhythm, speed, quantity, direction which define their personalities. These dance elements are what I work on that shape my violin tutorials. I start with the details of the whole body while walking, details in each step. So for me, dance is a basic necessity to understanding how to play an instrument. In addition, dancing and letting the body respond to polyphonic music, is the best and most direct way to naturally analyse the piece.
Sometimes I mention pure sound. I mean sound recorded without any editing or filters. This makes it ripe for applying changes to it, and playing with it.
According to my experience of working with Pure Data, it was too hard for me to only shape my sound files. I think that I need new software that is easy to use, because to work with pure data you have to be a kind of a computer engineer, and  I want to be a musician 😀
Regarding the future, it’s almost impossible to imagine the next 10 years exactly. I am looking for my personal musical language at the moment, and trying various musical genres, whether through composing or listening. However, I imagine that I will follow my classical training as I had been until now. Although, about my violin performance, I still have a very long way to go before I can say anything about it with any authority!

Catch Nasim live in London on violin with #IranUKSonic at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre at 6pm, Friday 14th December 2013. This event is free to attend.