Sanandaj, Iran is home to experimental sound artist Porya Hatami. His ambient music gleams in its environment, natural sound abiding in its natural state – the very essence, the very source, of music. Hatami’s music is anything but shallow. It is a careful whisper, carried on the breeze as a subtle swoosh of sound.
Prisms of soft light play upon the music. Chimes sink into the deeper drones, which then rock ‘n’ roll with a gentle kind of turbulence. Pitch is set against pitch, provoking a new kind of movement and rhythm as their inner flirtation deepens. The chimes are soaked in fairy tale mythology, a tale spoken from a faraway land, one unknown and left alone. It is a forgotten place that requires effort to conjure, a place that feels at once kiss-intimate and a continent’s distant. With no chance of intrusion, the drones stir in the dusty light, settling into a serene alcove with safety and security a romantic couple. Birds sing their own sweet song somewhere in the distance. Lighter electronics hesitate to come forward, timidly searching out the land as if afraid to voice their form of music. The attention to detail really brings the music to life; it’s accuracy is essential to the music’s health.
The music enfolds you, drifting to a point where pillow-diving seems like the only real option left. The deeper you go, the more gems you unearth. The calm is always here, present in the soothing ambient wash and the very stillness that comes with it. It can be felt in the air, in the spent, casual cool, after the rain. Arpeggios slowly slide over smooth stepping stones that ascend with a constant, deep tranquillity. Content in their being, the music doesn’t attempt to flaunt or show off its beauty. Instead, it radiates beauty naturally, with no make-up or perfume in sight. Nothing is forced. Everything is perfect.
‘Fen’, the 21-minute opener, is pure bliss and sets the chilled tone. A gorgeous harmonic glow arrives after the rain, and the placid tones of a piano come out to play, splashing around the arpeggios. Hatami’s sound is environmental, but this doesn’t take precedence over melody and harmony. He constructs the music thoughtfully and with a respectable degree of patience, giving it a very strong, stable foundation. Only then does the environment filter in quietly.
Halos of light block out the presence of a companion, but you are never alone. Balmy sunsets sleep on the horizon. You will find peace here. On the finale, ‘White Forest’, creamy, harp-like tones drip onto the soil, substituting the fallen leaves with a healthy splash of rain, hushing everything under a swirl of reverb and pale light.
Yes, everything is perfect