Feshareki: Turning World

Album cover art for upc 5023363026604
Label: NMC Recordings
Catalog: NMCD266

Bulley, James; Feshareki, Shiva; Downes, Kit; Ames, Robert; BBC Singers; London Contemporary Orchestra; Jeannin, Sofi

Shiva Feshareki (1987) is a British-Iranian composer, artist, and turntablist, described as “one of the most astonishing acts of musical alchemy of the last decade” (BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service). As a musical thinker and experimenter she is fascinated by the materiality of sound, fearlessly warping time and space itself through the boundless possibility of her turntables. A self-described 'sonic architect', Feshareki's intrepid exploration of a 360-degree sound world also encompasses composition for acoustic, 'note-reading' ensembles, where she re-theorizes relationships between performer and audience, dissolving physical, historical, and sonic boundaries. Aetherworld for choir, organ, and immersive electronics/turntables was recorded at its BBC Proms premiere in 2021, and is exemplary of Feshareki boldly grappling with the dualities of music and meaning. Focusing on the natural harmonics of the voice, the choral material in Aetherworld is based largely on harmonic overtones, revealing the structure of the sound. Using a range of technologies from vintage analogue turntables to state-of-the-art ambisonic live-sampling technology, Feshareki manipulates a recording of Josquin’s Qui Habitat to invent new forms that "connect us physically and spiritually in time and space, allowing our minds to expand in any direction or dimension, within a shared moment" (Feshareki). Still Point (1948–9) by Daphne Oram for double orchestra, five microphones and three 78RPM discs, is thought to be the earliest example of a composition specifying real-time electronic transformation of instrumental sounds. In the work, the double orchestra is ‘acoustically treated,’ creating one ‘dry’ orchestra and one ‘wet’ orchestra, which are then manipulated live in performance through turntables, amplification and echo effects. Together with composer James Bulley, Feshareki extensively researched within the Daphne Oram Collection and related archives to realize the world premiere performance of the final score for Still Point, previously thought lost for over 20 years.

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