Ashkan F. Tabatabie
PhD Candidate, University of Utah
Including Microtonal Writing Techniques and Technology Assisted Performance Practice in Post-tonal Composition Syllabi
Despite a long history of implementation and an ample number of successful compositions and performances, techniques for microtonal music writing do not claim a definite place in the regular syllabi of post-tonal composition. I believe this lack of exploration is twofold: 1) unfamiliarity of the composition instructors with the microtonal music literature, and 2) the risk factor associated with the performance of microtonal projects written by the students in a composition course.
I propose to address these two factors in my presentation first by presenting a brief exploration of the new trends in microtonal composition and their relations to the acoustics of sound, tuning systems, and transcultural music exploration. Second, I will demonstrate the use of newly emerged technologies and techniques for the performance of microtonal music. I will play some original and non-original technology-assisted microtonal excerpts and performances to back up the successful method of these technologies. In the end, I will propose a post-tonal music composition course syllabus that includes microtonal writing as a topic.
Ashkan Tabatabaie (b. 1986) is a composer, conductor, performer, and scholar currently residing in Salt Lake City. His music has been described as “among the best Utah has to offer.” He has composed instrumental, electroacoustic, and creative multimedia pieces that have been commissioned and/or presented by the Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, American Creator Ensemble, Persian New Music Ensemble, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), Oregon Bach Festival (OBSCF), Utah Philharmonia, Fry Street String Quartet, Nova Chamber Ensemble, Next Ensemble, VU Symposium, Salty Cricket, and SLC Library, among others. His scholarly works focus on the intersection of music theory, perception and cognition and have been presented/published in Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, OpenWest, and MOXsonic, among others. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate and a graduate research fellow at the University of Utah.