Ketāb al-Advār (retuned piano)

For microtonally retuned piano was a commission by Sanae Yoshida.

This piece's primary source of inspiration was a book with the same title on the music theory from the 13th century written by Safiaddin Ormavi (1211 Urmia -1294 Baghdad).

The rough translation of the title would be the book of circles, which was how Ormavi did notate the music. Ormavi illustrates modes in the form of circles and calls them Dawr (while Advār represents the plural form).

In "Ketāb al-Advār", Ormavi developed and proposed a theoretical system of a 17-tone gamut to describe the music of his time that could cover Persian, Arabic & Turkish music. In his system, the tones are not equally spaced. It is also essential to notice that this gamut has never functioned as a scale but as a set of pitches ordered uniquely. It gave the possibility of constructing independent scales but primarily functioned separately from the concept of scale.

Safiaddin Ormavi proposed 84 different musical modes, organized into two groups: consonance and dissonance (for a further and more detailed explanation, please visit: REVISITING THE MEDIEVAL TREATISES ON IRANIAN MUSIC). According to his system, only twelve out of 84 modes can be considered consonances and are simultaneously the primary modes for creating instrumental music.

Below: Dawr Ushshāq, as illustrated in Ormavi's system, shows the internal relationship of the intervals within the mode Ushshāq.


… of struggle and hope (contrabass quartet & electronics)

"... of struggle and hope" is my sonic reflection on the impact of the socio-political events in the world we are living in.


It attempts to combine Ormavi's tuning system with the concept of finding the Iranian classical mode in the harmonic series, with a focus on the overtones of the fourth octave.


The piece contains the timbral fluctuations of the acoustic instruments, the transformation of their sound and sonorities through digital audio processing, and at the same time, experiments with the idea of manipulation of the harmonic space and timbres in the fixed media part of the piece.


Also, it is very important to mention that a crucial part of this composition is based on a side research project that I executed on the topic of “Playable natural harmonic nodes on the string instruments”, conducted under the supervision of Marc Sabat from April to September 2020.

Shivan (flute solo)

"Shivan" is an etude based on exploring the possibilities of using the harmonic series of the flute as the primary source of inspiration for creating a new piece and making the Iranian traditional music’s intervals and tetrachords out of the world harmonic series.


On the other hand, the piece's whole structure investigates the detailed timbral fluctuations and experiments with different techniques on the instrument. The extremely high register of the flute pushes the listening comfort zone to the limits, both for the audience and for the performer him/herself. It is an uncomfortable piece to perform or listen to, as the sound world derived from its name - Shivan - means in Persian language, Outcry.


The piece is a result of a close collaboration with flutist Mehrdad Gholami during the summer and autumn of 2020.

Crystallum (string quartet & electronics)

"Crystallum" is a journey into the depth of the sounds by investigating the internal and invisible relationships of their inner components and the complex network of their nature.
The piece is structured on the relationship and the mapping of all the possible natural harmonic nodes on the strings of each independent instrument of a string quartet.

"Crystallum" is a compositional kaleidoscope of networks, organized with sounds in several levels and categories and pictured from different angles.

"Crystallum" is the thin thread between the past and the present, orient and occident, Maqam/Adwar system, and Just Intonation music and inspired by the nomadology concept of Gilles Deleuze.

Commissioned by NeoQuartet. World premiere on 29th October 2021, at 10. NeoArte Synthesizer of Arts Festival Gdansk, Poland.


Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka - I violin
Paweł Kapica - II violin
Michał Markiewicz - viola
Krzysztof Pawłowski - cello

Nežm (cello and piano)

Nežm, in the Parthian language, means "the winter's morning mist".

The non-solid shape of multiphonic sound with its evanescent components, which are unstable and fragile in their character, somehow reminds me of a mist's structure. It contains solid ingredients (overtones of a fundamental tone), which simultaneously are suspended in air (duration of the multiphonic). It is reliable and yet impossible to grab. It can change its form flexibly, yet it changes its shape even in very short amounts of time.


The composition focuses on the morphology of multiphonic components and the transformation between noises and sounds by manipulating multiphonic structures in different temporal and spatial layers.


On the other hand, this is an attempt to find the Persian intonation and intervals within the multiphonics of the vibrating strings, with a focus on the tetrachords described by the Persian polymath Ibn Sina (980-1037).

The piece is especially composed for Ellen Fallowfield (cello) and Sanae Yoshida (piano) as a part of  "The Art of the String Multiphonic", a symposium & artistic project developed at the Hochschule für Musik FHNW.

4C2 (solo percussion)

4C2 (4 choose 2), as the meaning of its title, is an investigation of how many combinations you get if you have four items and choose two at a time?

As a composer focusing on rational intonation, my daily work circles around numbers and mathematical equations, which become a source of inspiration for writing music.

In this specific piece, I wanted to explore form-making possibilities based on permutation, combination, and derangement with one single equation, 4C2. The rhythmic contents of the piece are derived from the mathematical ratios that describe the microintervals in Persian classical music. They are interpreted as the polyrhythmic contents that build up a complex sonic narration for percussive sounds.

The piece is specially written for the percussion virtuoso Jennifer Torrence.

Abjad Dream (piano & electronics)

The music resources from medieval Iran are notated in a unique system called Abjad. Theoreticians and musicians from the mentioned period were used to designate one letter from the alphabet to each finger position on the fretboard of the instruments, and the exact size between the intervals was expressed as rational numbers.


As an artistic researcher at the NMH, I have encountered many treaties written between the 9th and 15th centuries in Iran. Translating the pitch organization and the theoretical contents of each book, written in the Abjad system, into the modern European notation systems brought me to the idea of a journey through different tuning systems. By colliding my findings, I have decided to create my own sonic space, my own Abjad Dream, a place of safety, magic, and an unnaturally intriguing, unique tuning world.


The piece is especially composed for Martyna Kosecka.

Performed by Martyna Kosecka

Pythagorean tuning of the piano: Torkil Rødvand
Recorded by : Bendik Øvrelid
Mastered by Henning Bortne

The recording was done at Levinsalen, the Norwegian Academy of Music, 25.03.2022



Mantiq Al-Tayr: The Conference of the Birds (ensemble, electronics & video)

Mantiq Al-Tayr: The Conference of the Birds is a 4600-line mystical epic poem by 12th-century Persian poet Farid al-Din "Attar" Nishapuri (1145-1221). In his masterpiece, Attar tells the story of birds of the world that start a journey and travel to the world's highest peak to find and talk with their ideal king, the Sīmorgh. Under a hoop's leadership, a group of birds starts the journey and has to cross through seven valleys to reach the abode of Sīmorgh. Each valley is the symbol of a stage for spiritual awakening and has a metaphorical meaning:


  1. Valley of the Quest
  2. Valley of Love
  3. Valley of Knowledge
  4. Valley of Detachment
  5. Valley of Unity
  6. Valley of Wonderment
  7. Valley of Poverty and Annihilation

Idin Samimi Mofakham about the concert


Through "Mantiq Al-Tayr: The Conference of the Birds," I invite the listeners to take part in a mystical journey into the depth of the sounds. In this audiovisual interpretation of this Sufi allegory, I investigate sound components' internal and invisible relationships and their road toward musical metamorphosis and conscious rebirth. My artistic urge to listen and feel the complex transformation of pitch organizations within a very slow but precise reshaping of the musical events intends to recreate Attar's allegory of a journey into the depth of the soul and finding the true self - a journey for purification and cleansing of emotions, a Catharsis.


  • Oslo Sinfonietta
  • Jennifer Torrence (percussion soloist)
  • Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah (santur soloist)
  • Christian Eggen (conductor)
  • Martyna Kosecka (electronic mix and video)
  • Cato Langnes (electronic mastering and sound diffusion, NOTAM)
  • Josh Spear (producer, Periferien)
  • Lars H. Kurverud (coordinator, NMH)
  • Hanne Rekdal (Producer, OS)







Performance of Ketāb al-Advār | Sanae Yoshida |

May  15, 2022, 19:00 Lindemansalen, Norges musikkhøgskole, OSLO, NORWAY

ABYSS Bass Quartet
Håkon Thelin, Nikolai Matthews, Inga Margrete Aas, Jon Åsnes
Idin Samimi Mofakham: electronics
Martyna Kosecka : electronics mix
Cato Langnes: sound, audio recording
Manuel Madsen: video recording
Recorded live at Skoklefallsalen, Rudolf Steinerskolen Nesodden,
7.October 2021
Shivan performed by Mehrdad Gholami
Recorded on January 7th, 2021. Dallas, Texas
Kolonia Artystów, Gdansk, Poland - December 09, 2021
Piotr Rodak - sound engineering
Andrzej Juński - director of photography
Performance of Nežm by Ellen Fallowfield & Sanae Yoshida Sentralen, Oslo, Norway February 12, 2022
Performance of 4C2 | Jennifer Torrence at ONLY CONNECT OSLO Munchmuseet, Oslo, Norway April  30, 2022

Sound: Mike McCormick.
Video recording: Maja Wilhite-Hannisdal.

Performance of Mantiq Al-Tayr: The Conference of the Birds Oslo Sinfonietta, Jennifer Torrence & Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah

October 19, 2022, Riksscenen, Oslo, Norway

Audio recording and mastering Cato Langnes

Video recording Manuel Madsen