Arash Majd

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My Four Pillars as a Composer

Motivation

My fierce desire to conceive a sonic world that privileges timbre over pitch. My passion for timbre guided the creation of my album The Noise Project, in which I employ relatively modern structural procedures to reimagine old forms, developing new forms that are emotionally refreshing and intellectually engaging for my audience. All of the pieces in my portfolio, Babelscores, imagine pitch and other elements in musical composition as a backdrop that foregrounds timbre. 

 

Mission

My mission as a composer is to collaborate with performers to create music that favors timbre over pitch. Suppose the idea of prioritizing timbre over pitch does not succeed. In that case, the results will shape my body of work as a collection of pieces that present a refreshing listening experience for my audience.

 

Performer

A performer is a sound sculptor and must focus on the beauty and richness of color above the concerns of pitch. Achieving a rich texture within different sound possibilities, often through trial and error, is the most critical part of the performer’s mission.

 

Audience

The audience plays a role inextricable from my composition process. The organic participation of the audience is an inevitable part of my music. Just as the listener is the audience for my completed pieces, I myself am the audience for my musical ideas and my process of composition. 

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Biography

Arash Majd is inspired by the utilization of timbre as the primary—and pitch as the secondary—element of form in his latest works. He sometimes creates form through the imitation or contrast of timbres between similar or dissimilar instruments, and at other times encourages structures of phrase, section, and form to grow out of the continuity of sound driven from forward motion or variation of colors. Majd draws musical inspiration from every facet of his life, including the work of Sohrab Sepehri, the modern Iranian poet, and Pierre Schaeffer’s description of the Attack of the Note in his text In Search of Concrete Music (page 202), as well the concept of fine dining, and the diagnoses and symptoms of medical conditions.

 

The San Francisco Examiner’s music critic, Stephen Smoliar, described Majd’s piece Struggle and Strife for string quartet as “highly expressive…shows great respect for both traditional forms and contrapuntal techniques as significant to the serial style as they were to the emergence of sophisticated counterpoint during the Renaissance.”

 

As a composer, Majd has had the privilege of collaborating with many exceptional soloists and ensembles, including Tina Guo, Peter Yates, Lars Hoefs, Maksim Velichin, yarn/wire ENSEMBLE, Winsor Trio, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Friction Quartet, Elements of Nimbus Ensemble, Ball State University Saxophone Quartet, choreographers Batina Essaka & Stefan Poetzsch, Lyris Quartet, and Ensemble TM+.

Majd has been nominated for the American Prize and the ASCAP/SCI composition competition in Region 7, and has won the ASCAP/SCI composition competition at Ball State University. Also, his work, Metamorphose, is selected to be performed for the 2021 season in the Hear Now Music Festival in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a BM, 2012, from California State University, Northridge, where he studied with Liviu Marinescu. He received an MA, 2016, and PhD, 2020, in music composition from the University of California, Los Angeles, studying composition and orchestration with Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, Richard Danielpour, and Bruce Broughton. During his studies at UCLA, Majd taught music theory and jazz history, composed music for all artists in residence, conducted research about the correlation between timbre and form in musical composition, and received numerous scholarships and fellowships from UCLA’s composition department. Arash Majd is proud to be published by the most influential contemporary music online library, Babelscores, based in Paris.

Ordered by year. Most recent works appears first

Chamber Group ( 2 - 4 instruments )


Metamorphosis on a Holophonic Texture for Acoustic Guitar Quartet (2020)
Continuum I for Cello & Guitar (2020)
Tinnitus for String Quartet (2019)
With or without chimes, I will make my dreams come true! for 2 pianos and 2 percussionists (2019)

String Orchestra


Tinnitus for String Orchestra (2020)

Chamber Ensemble (5 - 9 instruments)


Metamorphose for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and vibraphone (2019)

String Quartet


Tinnitus for String Quartet (2019)
Continuum I for Cello & Guitar (2020)
Metamorphose for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and vibraphone (2019)
Metamorphosis on a Holophonic Texture for Acoustic Guitar Quartet (2020)
Tinnitus for String Quartet (2019)
Tinnitus for String Orchestra (2020)
With or without chimes, I will make my dreams come true! for 2 pianos and 2 percussionists (2019)