Composer, Music Producer
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Born on April 1992, Pedram Babaiee (pronounced: pɛdrɑm bɑbɑɪ) is an Iranian contemporary classical composer and music producer, distinguished as the bearer of Iranian classical music legacy in his generation; Also he has a background in composing and producing more than 24 hours of music for performing arts, featured films, etc. from 2011 to 2017…
Pedram grew up in a non-musical middle class family being the only child of his parents, Hamid Babaei -his father who was a sales executive of a cookie brand company- and Mehrnoosh Jamshidi -his mother who was a professional painter-.
He started playing piano at age nine and guitar at age 12; Although was trained to play the guitar in classical style, later he chose to get Flamenco music lessons. At the age 15, he became interested in playing electric guitar, under the influence of the album Mesmerize by System of a Down; He put five years of hard practice -self education- in exploring different styles, from melodic death metal to jazz music.
Describing himself as “always a misfit”, In 2011 he decided to start his own journey and redefine his own reality. Dropped out of the university, Faculty of Art and Architecture of Tehran because "he thought it was a waste of time, money and energy", and also got separated from his parents and started his independent life; Rented a small room in a movie post-productions studio named Export Studio to live in and to self educate. In late 2011, he used to play guitar and sing -songs from Bob Dylan, Styx, Aaron, etc.- in the streets of Tehran to pay the rent and to temporarily make a living.
Pedram started self educating -while benefiting the slight but precious presence of his master, Sharif Lotfi- and continued studying music theory topics -harmony, counter-point, form and orchestration, sonic wave physics, etc.- and carried on learning how studio equipment work and how to manage a studio. From that point in his life, he never stopped self educating.
In 2011, Pedram joined an art community, Vaahe Art Collective to write, produce and perform music for theatre performances. One thing led to another and in 2012, he won an award for best music score in Theatre Week Festival of Tehran Art University for writing and producing music for the performance Beethoven’s 9th Symphony directed by Nikoo Mamdoohi -the founding member of Vaahe- Later in 2013, Pedram came up with executive plans and started serving as head of music department in Vaahe Art Collective.
Style and Influences
In developing his very own personal style of writing music, Pedram is deeply under the impression of his five favorite composers;
Bach, Beethoven, Grieg, Ravel, Schumann.
Also in his own words, He was influenced by three irrelevantly different musical directions:
- German Electronic music of the 1970s (Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, etc.)
- Minimal music of the twentieth century (Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, etc.) and Post-minimalism (Max Richter, etc.)
- Indie/Alternative rock/metal and grunge music of the 1990s (Radiohead, System of a Down, Nirvana, etc.)
In late 2018, Pedram felt the lack of excitement about Iranian traditional music legacy and tried figuring out the issue; Therefore, he reached out Ali Bereliani -the only composition student and colleague of the great Iranian composer, Morteza Hannaneh- to learn about the roots and to explore the heritage of Iranian traditional music, theoretically; Today, one of the things that makes Pedram unique as a composer, is a signature balance of Iranian and western musical elements, in his compositions
Pedram Babaiee und das Klavier sind vermutlich zusammen genommen ein Herz und eine Seele, denn das Musikverständnis auf diesem… Read more
"... Before being a composer and in order to write impressive and innovative music, first you have to discover your most humane self and accept this beautiful fact of mortality in existence -which by the way I think must have a counter-point somewhere which is nothing like the religious nonsense!-, and then to master making artistic choices in your daily routine, which is the stage I'm currently in, personally… "
"I see music as the most powerful form of communication, Interaction and storytelling; A universal expression much greater than any other language. Music is an honest conception in which you can trust everything. "
"… Silence is a beautiful prospect and we better be careful and extremely choosy while interrupting it. Whether it's a piece of music or a speech or even the movements of our bodies, waves we produce, keep existing far beyond the ideas of right or wrong; They resonate us even though we are the ones producing them – We are the creators of ourselves."
"There has never been an army in the world, more powerful than a number of sympathetic musicians gathered, united to play towards a mutual goal and motivated from a mutual vision; No guns more piercing than their instruments and no bounds are stronger than their connection. There are no prerequisites – If music is being played by a group of people, discipline must've been already there! … "
"From a blank piece of paper and an empty sequence of digital audio workstation to a carefully mastered final product: that's all the process! Making musical textures out of pattern-based melodies is my personal favorite overview in a composition. Generally, I'm more interested in writing for chamber orchestras and small ensembles -string quartet, woodwind trio, etc.- since I think it's a potential maquette of a major work except that it leaves a little space for listener, so that everybody can get the concept with their own sense of imagination. I also sketch collage-like miniatures pieces for solo instruments in which the idea(s) basically turn into material of a more serious work. Even though I don't get this illusion of borders and nationality, I do like to use the elements from the heritage of Persian music, if possible; whether in orchestration or composition. However, most important feature of my works to be considered -before being presented- is to make sure everything is in great harmony – in form and content. I'm also really into Analog Synths, for production of electronic soundscapes and textures. I always prefer using analog equipment and ribbon microphones for recording, if possible."