nine-sum sorcery can be understood as an occult incitation to the dark energies, natural, political and otherwise, that are released when oil is extracted from the ground. This ritual is focused through the enigmatic electronic and percussion composition from LABOUR which alternates between foreground and background for the haunting vocal performance of Mojtahedy, who interprets Kurdish and Persian verses.
Opening the performance with a reading of ‘Poshte-Daryaha-Shahrist’, a poem by the Iranian modernist Sohrab Sepehri, Mojtahedy then sings verses from poems by Ahmad Shamlou and Rahim Loghmani. The melodic vocal line she employs follows dastgah, a musical modal system that makes up one of the principal components of traditional Persian music, specifically employing here the Homayoun, Mahour, Hijaz and Nava dastgahs.
Hatam harnessed the algorithmic compositional power of SuperCollider (digital sound synthesis programming environment) to build a unique granular synthesis ‘instrument’, that applies various techniques on short fragments of Hani’s voice, now finally ‘disembodied’ in the final section of the work – utilising cloud formations, algorithmic composition, stochastic distributions and weighted randoms to sculpt the various processes and timings of sonic events. This unique application of granular synthesis was chosen to link conceptually to the dust and particles of the desert of the Xerodome. On the macro compositional level, the drumming section immediately preceding the final chapter reinforces the musical idea of stochastic distribution – or shifting densities, via a non-grid-time approach to rhythm that still follows a precise cyclical notion of time . The very end of the piece utilises psycho-acoustic techniques to push-out of the density and enhance the final moments of metastasis.