In the field of photography, the term hologram is defined as: “a three-dimensional image reproduced from an interference pattern produced by a split coherent beam of rays.” Relating the above statement to the genre of music, the closest we can come to explaining the hologram is to consider the phenomenon of combination tones. Combination tones are the ghost sounds created in the inner ear when two different tones are played simultaneously. Holographic Composition Technique is a term I coined specifically for my practice of the compositional path. It is a technique based on two main themes in music that interest me most: psychoacoustics, and the world of microtonality, with the biggest influence being the world of Just Intonation and non-Western tuning systems.
As someone fascinated by physics and mathematics, both psychoacoustics and microtonality are very attractive sources of inspiration. My interest in microtonality encompasses all kinds of approaches: different temperament systems, Just Intonation techniques, non-octave subdivisions or the so-called “traditional non-Western” practices. Nevertheless, I will focus on Iranian microtonality, especially the tuning systems written by Persian polymaths between the 9th and 15th centuries, with a focus on the works of Farabi (10th century), Ibn Sina (10th century) and Safiaddin Ormavi (13th century).
This research intends to connect the world of psychoacoustics, the medieval Iranian tuning systems, and the Radif of classical Iranian music, in an attempt to combine them as material for compositional practice. I categorise various tunings of the medieval thinkers and polymaths who were active in the vast territories of the Middle East and show ways in which this material can be used in contemporary music to create a personal fusion of the manifestations of the Orient and Occident in music.