Paj (02/09/2011)

Saman Samadi

Available media

About this composition

“Paj” won first prize for the Counterpoint-Italy International Composition Competition, in 2012, and was given a New York premiere by flutist Linda Wetherill, and pianist Kristin Barone, in December of that same year. The collaboration of the composer with the pianist in this project led them to a marriage of which they have now two children, Përajhars and Clémentine. A recording of this composition was published on digital music platforms on the 24th of July, 2017. Notes from the composer: As a composer who was always fascinated by western classical music and also knowledgeable in traditional Persian music, I became enthusiastic to acquire an alternate method of pitch organization while using Persian modes that would be acclimated, expressive, and innovative in the context of contemporary classical music. Thus, I formed a method of pitch organization based on the microtonal modes of Persian classical music. Paj is one of the first pieces for which I have written using the method. While composing Paj, I thought through my life experiences in order to create a sonic journal. Paj has allowed me to be able to introduce myself to a different light. Believing that the completion of this work would be an important turning point in my career, I felt that it needed a strong title. The definition of “Paj” is as follows: the culminating point, as of achievement or excellence; Acme, Apogee, Perfection, Peak, Supreme. Notes from pianist: At first I was intimidated by the piece. It looked very challenging technically and also had a few markings that I had not seen before. It is a one-movement piece with a few mood changes and different sections. It is a heavy piece that requires a great deal of concentration and energy. The flute uses extended techniques including quarter tones, airy tones, tongue ram, whistle tones, finger taps, as well as multi-phonics. The piano is written in a more traditional style, however, there are contemporary elements including improvisation boxes, extreme dynamic markings, and complex rhythms. In general, the two instruments are conversing with slight overlapping. There are a few solo moments, however, both players are equally active throughout. There were a few technically challenging sections in Paj. Coordinating both hands was most difficult when one hand was playing written out notes while the other improvised. Regarding improvisation boxes: Samadi wrote a group of notes in which the performer was able to use and is limited to specific rhythmic guidelines. The pianist should mimic the flutist’s rhythmic phrases. They need not be exactly the same, but similar. Another challenge was coordination between the instruments. Since the rhythms are extremely complex, one must make approximations. Of course, our goal is to play as accurate as possible. There were also, a few phrases that were technically difficult due to large leaps, fingering issues, as well as fast virtuosic phrases. List of Events: '14. Samadi, Saman. Paj: for flute and piano. Performed by Nicole Camacho, and Kristin Samadi. Stony Brook: SUNY Stony Brook, Staller Center, 08/04/2014. '12. Samadi, Saman. Paj: for flute and piano. Performed by Linda Wetherill, and Kristin Barone (Samadi). New Jersey: RCC Rutherford, 16/12/2012. '12. Samadi, Saman. Paj: for flute and piano. Performed by Linda Wetherill, and Kristin Barone (Samadi). New York: Culturefix, 02/12/2012. '12. Samadi, Saman. Paj: for flute and piano. Performed by Kouchyar Shahroudi, and Domitille Bès. Le Havre: L’ ensemble ECHO, Museum of modern art André Malraux (MuMa), 29/06/2012.
keywordsComposition, Flute and Piano, Microtonality
copyrightSaman Samadi
join the research catalogue
Portals The research catalogue serves:
Journal for Artistic Research
a peer-reviewed international journal for all art disciplines
KC Research Portal
Research Portal of the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague
Norwegian Artistic Research Programme
The portal of the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme
RUUKKU - Studies in Artistic Research
Taiteellisen tutkimuksen kausijulkaisu / Studies in Artistic Research
University of Applied Arts Vienna
RC portal of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Journal of Sonic Studies
A peer-reviewed, international journal on sound studies and auditory culture
Academy of Creative and Performing Arts
Portal of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University
Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen
Portal of Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design
Portal of Codarts, University of the Arts, Rotterdam
Stockholm University of the Arts
Stockholm University of the Arts (Uniarts) provides education and conducts research in the fields of choreography, film & media, opera and performing arts.
University of the Arts Helsinki
University of the Arts Helsinki was launched in 2013 upon the merging of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki.
Norwegian Academy of Music
A leading artistic and academic university college with approximately 700 students. Located in Oslo, Norway.
The Danish National School of Performing Arts
This portal is a platform for distribution of knowledge produced through artistic research at the Danish National School of Performing Arts.
VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research
VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research
Rhythmic Music Conservatory Copenhagen
The portal of Rhythmic Music Conservatory Copenhagen
Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design
Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm
UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Description to be implemented
DMARC University of Derby
DMARC is the portal of the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre at the University of Derby (UK).
The Research Catalogue server is operated at
KTH's IT-department