the korourian competition 2016

22 august 2016, arashbaran art cultural center, tehran

i am so pleased to be here in this ceremony, in this gathering. thanks very much for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about this competition. what does it mean and what could be its impact for the future?

a competition about music is a strange thing, as we all know, because composing music has nothing to do with competing against others to get anything. we do not write music to be better than someone else. we write music to realize our ideas, to put them into reality, to give them a body, to put them into life. the idea, the imagination, the phantasy burns, it demands us to give all we can to its realization. and in this fire, in this excitement, in this stream all the wrong categories we are used to live with, and live in, are taken away: who is the best, who is the most beautiful, who is the most famous, who is the strongest. these categories do not exist anymore. we are only occupied with accomplishing our idea, we must do it, to get some peace, some calmness again, when we did what we could. this is what schoenberg meant by: kunst kommt nicht von können, sondern vom müssen. (art does not derive from mastery but from the need to do it.)

so it could seem that a competition is completely against art and music. but this is not true. the real sense of a competition is to give honour and attention to creative works which derive from the spirit i tried to describe before. actually we use this sportive form to create a space in which new pieces, new thoughts, new phantasies, new ways of hearing get the attention they deserve.

this is particularily important for a competition of new electroacoustic music, which uses electronic media to create new experiences. these new experiences run by force in conflict with our habits, with the fixed paths of our perception. our ear is treated badly most of the time, it is degraded to a function instead of invited to discover listening. sensible electroacoustic music can open our ears again, but it will need places and spaces to be heard and discussed.

so my hope is that this competition can be a contribution to honour new and important pieces of electroacoustic music. i do hope this first korourian competition will be continued the next years. it is an excellent idea that contemporary music records issues a cd with the selected works, and on wednesday we will hear them live, with four loud speakers. i dream of a korourian festival for next year, with not only tape pieces, but also live electronics, installations, discussions, experiments, and more.

let me end first with kindest regards from my jury collegue peter becker. it was a wonderful work with him and arsalan abedian, very much coming to a real consensus in discussing the pieces.

i would like to thank the family of reza korourian to make this all possible. it has a deep meaning that we are all here in memory of reza who died too early. arsalan abedian, mehdi jalali and all the friends from yarava music group did a great job and a huge work in putting all this together: competition, cd, concert, and much more. we cannot thank them enough.

finally i would like to thank the cultural department of the german embassy for their support, namely miss ghorbani and mister buhtz.

as you will know, all jury discussions were based on anonymity. so it was a great surprise for me to know after our decision that the three most awarded compositions are from female composers. and this can also be an important sign for the future, hopefully encouraging female composers to take their appropriate role in the field of contemporary music. we need you and your music.

vielen dank für ihre aufmerksamkeit

many thanks for your attention

cheili mamnoon baraje tawajohetoon