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Mantiq Al-Tayr: The Conference of the Birds

Eldre persisk maleri eller tegning av en fugl i lilla nyanser.

An electroacoustic journey for chromatic santur, percussion, amplified ensemble, octophonic sound diffusion and video projection.

Public domain

The Beginning is lost; the End stretches into eternity.

Don't bother with them, they're all irrelevant.

And since all is really nothing,

then nothing is truly everything.

(Farid al-Din “Attar” Nishapuri (1145-1221), The Conference of the Birds)

Holographic Composition Technique

Holographic Composition Technique is Idin Samimi Mofakham's artistic research project on the PhD programme in artistic research

Read more about the project


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 the leadership of a hoopoe, 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 the internal and invisible relationships of sound components and their road toward the 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.

Idin Samimi Mofakham is a research fellow at the PhD programme for artistic research. This is his final concert.


  • Oslo Sinfonietta
  • Jennifer Torrence (percussion soloist)
  • Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah (santoor 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)

Read the interview with Idin Samimi Mofakham

Published: Jun 10, 2022 — Last updated: Oct 18, 2022