05 Jan

Producing Maneli Jamal’s New Album/Sacred Balance Album Release/ICOT CD Release

I am super excited about 2012!

Some of the developments about the next few months are as follows:

– Recording/producing Maneli Jamal’s next album in the coming weeks with my good friend Benjamin Gendron-Smith. If you don’t know Maneli, you better go check him out now. He is an amazing modern finger-style guitarist with quite a large following. I have met with him the last weeks and went through the pre-production phase with him. We are going to hit the studio this weekend.

– I am so happy to announce that all of the artists for the Sacred Balance show are confirmed as of now. Here is from the press release:

Dual-city (Toronto/Montreal) based electro-visionary trip rock band Sacred Balance celebrate the release of their self-titled debut independent EP at Toronto’s El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue) on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. The special guest is award winning Toronto composer, pianist, electronic musician John Kameel Farah, as he returns from fall tour dates in Germany; and folk/rock singer-songwriter Carlo Meriano will open the night.

The current Sacred Balance member lineup consists of Montreal’s Pouya Hamidi (founder/keyboard/programming), and Toronto’s Chloe Charles (vocals/lyrics), Neil Whitford (guitar), Mackenzie Longpre (drums), Kelly Lefaive (violin) and Andrew Roorda (Bass). For this show, VJ Zum One works along-side the band projecting an improvised video experience, and djembe artist and prominent part of the Toronto Drum Circle movement Tim Gentle sits in as guest musician.

– Finally, I am working closely with Persian Piano Night artists for creating a CD partly recorded this past fall in Montreal. It will features compositions from the PPN series of concerts that we had.

Ok gotta get back to work!

Talk to you soon,
Pouya.

06 Nov

Recording highlights of November and Persian Piano Night’s nearly sold out show in Montreal

It’s been a busy time. Where to begin? I am not home much. Recording or rehearsing or in class. Let’s start from the recordings. If I didn’t truly enjoy this, I would’ve burnt out long ago. We all know that music can be spiritual. Mystical and somehow unexplainable. I feel like I am creating exciting art. When you walk into a session you have some expectations, but you’ll be surprised when it turns into reality. It feels like when a composer hears the music in his head and then finally hears everything with real musicians. It’s magical. I’m also truly privileged to work with fellow students who are there for the love of recording and are so committed to getting the best result at every session.

Here is a summary of the highlights of people I have recorded in the past while:

  1. Mark Bérubé & The Patriotic Few: “Mark pens sweet, introspective chamber folk songs, embellished with the delicate orchestration of his band, The Patriotic Few.”
  2. Maneli Jamal: modern finger style guitarist that does things on the guitar that will keep you in amazement. Full of emotion.
  3. The DoneFors: on their CD release tour across Canada, I have known this band for a while now. Listening to their music best describes them.
  4. Stacy Brown: a composer who wrote a composition for a small orchestra and two voices.
  5. TorQ Percussion Quartet: a Toronto-based ensemble dedicated to performing, commissioning and teaching percussion music that were on tour across Quebec.
  6. Revolvers: good old friends that play psychedelic, rock, surfer, sweet distortion music.

Stacey Brown's session

Liam Smith from The DoneFors

Experimenting on Maneli Jamal

Persian Piano Night's encore in Montreal

In the middle of all this, Persian Piano Night happened in Montreal. The venue was packed, again! I would like to thank everyone who was involved in helping us put on this concert. There was something extra special this time. I performed my best yet and the energy in the air was really extraordinary. Maybe this was because we’d played part of our program intensively the night before for a recording at McGill. The recording was done with video as well. So watch out for a potential CD/DVD of the Persian Piano Night!

So lots happening. I am so happy to be alive.

Happy November!

Pouya.

01 Oct

Persian Piano Night annouced for other Canadian Cities

Persian Piano Night in Toronto was a success. Sold out show. It was a pleasure to work on with fellow Persian composers. Organizing the show involved many different Skype meetings and long term planning.

I am happy to announce that this group of Iranian composers are forming a group called Iranian Composers of Toronto (ICOT). You can check out our official website here:

http://www.icot.ca

We are bringing Persian Piano Night to Waterloo (October 15th) and Montreal (October 29th). If you are around in these cities, try to make it. More information can be found at our event page:

http://www.icot.ca/site/tickets/

After Persian Piano Night, ICOT is planning to put on more shows as a group. We will let you know of more details once they get confirmed. In other news, my band Sacred Balance is taking pre-orders for our EP which is going to be released in January 2012. You can pre-order it here:

http://sacredbalance.bandcamp.com/

That’s all for September 2011. More updates next month.

Happy October!

Pouya.