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Farzané talks inspirations and Intended Consequence

Farzaneh Nouri aka Farzané is a musician, researcher, and sound artist based in the Netherlands. Interested in experimental approaches to sound, science, and technology, she explores various disciplines such as electroacoustic music composition, computer science, cybernetics, acoustic ecology, and linguistics. As tools in her artistic practice, she uses creative coding, field recording, live electronics, as well as acoustic and programmable instruments. 

Connect with Farzané on Instagram | website

Her recent pieces investigate complex systems, natural algorithms, and human-machine interaction. Farzaneh composes for live performances, interactive installations, films, VR, and multi-sensory experiences. Her current research focuses on artificial intelligence methods in the framework of live electroacoustic music improvisation.

As Farzané her latest track Quorl is released on Apranik Records’ Intended Consequence VA. representing a fresh lineup of Iranian women musicians and producers from across the electronic music spectrum. 

 Thanks for talking to us today – how’s the year been treating you so far?

Thanks for having me! I’ve had quite an eventful year with a lot of new experiences. I had the opportunity to perform in various festivals and venues, and to collaborate with amazing artists. I also recently graduated from the Institute of Sonology, which was the end of an exceptional era in my artistic life.

First of all, we want to get to know you “from the beginning”. How did your history with music begin?

I was classically trained in piano from a very young age. In 2015, I started exploring electronic music, taking private lessons in Tehran. Fascinated by the possibilities and potentials of electronic music, I moved to the Netherlands in 2019 to delve deeper into the field at the Institute of Sonology through artistic research and practice. Interested in the intersection between computer science and electroacoustic music, I’ve been focusing on algorithmic composition and AI methods in electroacoustic music improvisation for the past couple of years.

What are some of the more experimental approaches to sound that you take in your productions?

I use various compositional tools and sound generation techniques. From field recordings to acoustic instruments and creative coding, I aim to recognize the affordances of each tool and explore the aesthetics that emerge from reforming interactions with these tools and the sonic environment.

In the past years, I have been specifically experimenting in the field of computer music and algorithmic composition. Human-computer interaction, natural algorithms, and creative partnership with computers are topics that I have been exploring. My interest in this subject began with previous experiments with composing with generative environments and artificial life forms, I was fascinated by how my compositional ideas and, consequently, my sounds and music evolved throughout the recursive process of interacting with these systems. The creative dialogue with the tool suggests new compositional directions as it sparks innovative directions during the process of composition. Indeed, the process of composing in these environments started to resemble previous experiences of collaborating with a creative partner. These experiences were key in directing my interest and investigations into the realm of creative partnerships with computers. I aim at speculating these processes and interactions as models for sound compositions.

What does your current studio set up look like? Lots of hardware, or are you mainly ‘out of the box’ type producers?

I currently work at my home studio with quite a small setup. I mainly use my computer to compose via programming environments. But I have a couple of acoustic instruments, recording devices, and some electronic components lying around.

You’ve composed music for live performances, interactive installations, films, VR – is there a lot of crossover in these disciplines, or do they all require a different approach?

The potentials and limitations of different media define a range of possibilities that influence the creation process. In general, fixed media mostly require a more goal-oriented approach. Interactive settings allow the development of non-linear narratives through real-time interaction with the audience and the environment. This can add more layers of musical complexity. Furthermore, the practicalities of different setups offer creative applications of specific musical elements. For instance, a multichannel sound system in a live performance or a binaural rendering of a VR sonic space offers very distinctive ways of approaching space as a compositional element. However, what I seek artistically might be what forms a unified identity among all these works.

Your new track Quorl is, at times, incredibly intense, and we would say quite a challenging listen. Is it important for you to present your listeners with something to think about?

I seek to propose a contemplative engagement with music through active listening. I try to construct listening situations where human perception and the expressive potentiality of different sound materials and processes are brought to attention. Where the audience confronts the sound as an object in itself, rather than a causal, cultural, or symbolic reference.

Quorl is the result of a sonic dialogue between field recordings and an artificial improviser developed in SuperCollider. With this piece, free improvisation is used as a technique that offers a form of listening where sounds are perceived for what they reveal than what they refer to. I aimed to investigate the distinct aesthetics that emerge from the micro-movements within sonic textures, the organization of the sound materials, and how processes unfold and sonic states transform.

It’s released as part of the new Intended Consequence VA from Apranik. How important are releases like this in supporting niche music and undervalued scenes like that in Iran?

Releases like this, particularly compilations, introduce a wide range of music from a collection of artists to a bigger audience. It depicts diversity and helps promote the scene. But what I find even more noteworthy about these releases, is how they can activate the scene, and provide grounds for younger and new artists, especially females in Iran.

Other than the track on Intended Consequence, what should we be looking out for from you in the next few months?

I’m very excited to be working at the Darmstadt Summer Course in the coming couple of weeks. In the last week of August, I will perform in Istanbul. After that, I will get back to the Netherlands for a research project on machine improvisation. I will be working and performing in Austria and Germany in the following couple of months.

What is the best advice you ever received as an artist?

I cannot point out one single quote. But having had the privilege to work with inspiring artists and great thinkers in the field, I learned to be self-reflective about my work. I learned how it is important to recognize the distinguishable elements of one’s creative process, artistic viewpoint, and personal aesthetics. And to further develop them.

Anything else you’d like to tell us…?

Thanks again and wish you all the best!

Thank you!

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