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Idin Mofakham: Holographic Composition Technique

Chord progressions with lines between them are drawn on a piece of paper. At the top left, a square is drawn around nearby progressions, which merges into a middle square which in turn merges into a square in the lower right corner.

Development of a sonic language at the intersection between our time and medieval Iran.

Field of study: Artistic Research


In the area of photography, the term Hologram is defined as: “a three-dimensional image reproduced from a pattern of interference produced by a split coherent beam of radiation.”

Referring to the statement presented above to the genre of music, our closest explanation for the Hologram can be the phenomenon of combination tones. Combination tones are the ghost sounds, which are produced in the inner ear by playing two different tones simultaneously.

The fusion of Orient and Occident

"Holographic Composition Technique" is a term Mofakham has made for his compositional path. It is a technique being based on two main subjects in music that interest him the most: psychoacoustics and auditory illusions as to the scientific part of his research; and the world of microtonality and non-western tuning systems as the main musical material for his work. As a person fascinated by physics and mathematics, both psychoacoustics and microtonality are very attractive source of inspiration for Mofakham.

Mofakham's interest in microtonality lies in all possible approaches to it: different temperament systems (equal, linear, irregular), “just intonation” techniques, non-octave divisions or even return to the “traditional non-Western” modal practice. Still, the focus will stay on Iranian microtonality, especially on the tuning systems written by Persian physicians, astronomers and thinkers between the 9th to 14th century, like Mansour Zalzal (9th century), Al-Farabi (10th century), Avicenna (10th century), Safi al-Din al-Urmawi (13th century) and Abd al-Qadir al-Maraghi (14th century).

The main goal of this research is to combine psychoacoustics & auditory illusions with the old approach to the microtonal tuning of Iran, to reach a very unique and yet new sounding world, which in Mofakham's opinion can be called the fusion of Orient and Occident.


Title: Holographic Composition Technique: Revisiting the Medieval Treatises on Iranian Music.

The complete documentation of Idin Mofakam's research is available in Research Catalogue.

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Published: Nov 11, 2019 — Last updated: Jun 6, 2023