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Composer | Sound Artist

Artistic Director at Petrichor Records


A Kaleidoscopic Experience

Salt Flat Portals [2022]

for generative visuals, Afrofuturist actors, footage from Great Salt Lake, flute, string quartet, and electronics.

Video: Alisha Wormsley

Flute: Kelariz Keshavarz

JACK Quartet


My works are largely drawn from abstract concepts and designs, taking inspiration from the textures, shapes, lines, and patterns that emerge naturally around me. Lately, my work, particularly in sound installation projects, reflects my contemplation on the recent socio-political developments in Iran, specifically the profound and motivating "Women, Life, Freedom" movement.

#EyesonIran stands as a gesture of unity with the brave souls in Iran who stand up for their human rights and yearn for freedom. This initiative connects artists and activists across the diaspora and their supporters, fostering a collective resolve to keep international viewers and bodies alert and empathetic towards this significant movement.



During my studies of New Complexity, I was captivated by the works and philosophies of the English composer Brian Ferneyhough. It became apparent to me that his compositions were often misinterpreted, even among avant-garde composers. American theorist Joseph Strauss has suggested that post-Schoenberg, a significant disconnect has grown between lay audiences and pioneering composers who explore musical frontiers. I contend that a part of this gap stems from music's visual elements, be it performance instructions or visual representations that help audiences grasp and appreciate the music. Ferneyhough himself has acknowledged his challenges with this visual dimension, striving to integrate such elements without diluting the intricacy and precision vital for conveying his artistic vision. Personally, I have dedicated myself to addressing the challenges posed by Ferneyhough's complex notation and execution techniques.

Maximum Insufficiently Identical Outlines [2019] for string quartet

Mivos Quartet

Click here to see the full score and recording.

Humans possess an innate ability to perceive and distinguish between two objects or concepts, up to a certain minimal level of difference. Beyond this threshold, nuances become imperceptible. This piece revolves around the pivotal moment of discernment, identifying those minimal differences. Essentially, while the broader strokes and structural elements of the musical content appear nearly identical, the degree of variation is too subtle for the listener to discern the similarities, particularly in passages where all instruments are playing the same material. My approach to notation and the deliberate imprecision in execution means that, even when the musical elements share "maximally identical outlines," these are still "insufficient" for listeners to recognize as perfectly similar.


I want to explore further the issues within the relationship between the performer, the interpreter, and the creator. The discussion starts with the traceability of new notation systems and the blurry boundary of a playable or unplayable musical element. I am working on a series of pieces to be released as a score-reading/album project, in which the performance score consists of more than a recipe or a list of instructions. My notations have an independent visual aspect, which is why they have been shown in various art exhibitions in the US and Europe.

Amin Sharifi - Maximum Insufficiently Identical Outlines - Full Score_Page_03.jpg


The score itself can stand alone as an independent artwork, offering aesthetic value before or even without its performance. It features a traceable, accessible surface, allowing interpretation without extensive musical knowledge—a quality starkly contrasted by the abstracted layers often found in modernist and postmodern music, where traditional melody gave way to dodecaphonic structures since the rise of Romantic music.

Minimum Different Enough Details [2018] for two violins

JACK Quartet

Click here to see the full score and recording.

Amin Sharifi - Maximum Insufficiently Identical Outlines_Page_06.jpg


This project took a significant step forward last year with my string quartet Maximum Insufficiently Identical Outlines (2019), where the notation itself functioned as a newly invented language, easily readable and learnable, that, due to its newness and lack of trials-and-errors, contains limited words. This new language can be tailored differently for each composition, as can be seen in the evolution of this system in my Mise-en-scene (2018), Mise-en-synthesis (2019), and Aposynthesy (2019).

Amin Sharifi - Mise-en-scène - Full Score_Page_06.jpg


I am looking for a new language allowing composers to create incomprehensible, untranslatable poems beyond conventional languages. Its performance practice would be firmly under the composer's control, allowing for adjustable complexity. Ultimately, I seek a notational system that does not rely on sonic output and possesses inherent meaning, even without musical performance, serving as a purely visual and imaginative musical score.


As a composer with a background in computer science and programming, I've developed software to delve into audio file analysis, categorizing harmonic spectra and pinpointing timing values down to the millisecond. This tool is evolving into a comprehensive spectral analyzer for composers. I've also integrated the software's findings into my compositions, including "Koocheh Baghi" for the Hypercube Quartet and "Aposynthesy" for the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, using the output as foundational material.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi [2018] for wind orchestra

Indiana Philharmonic

Click here to see the full score and recording.

Koocheh Baghi [2018]

for tenor saxophone, guitar, piano, and vibraphone
Hypercube Quartet

Click here to see the full score and recording.

To initiate the composition of "Koocheh Baghi," I recorded an improvisation on the Tar, inspired by the Persian mode "Koocheh Baghi" ("alley garden"). This recording was then analyzed by my custom-developed software, written in Python, which classifies harmonic spectra into four distinct categories: high, unheard partials; quarter-tone fundamentals (reflecting the quarter-tone tuning of the Persian mode); unheard undertones; and noise/ambiance elements. The software precisely determined the timing of each spectral element, with resolution down to the nanosecond. These analyzed materials became the foundation of my composition, eliminating the need for traditional time signatures or tempo changes. The inherent rhythms, marked by extensive use of tied rhythmic figures, inherently reflect "Koocheh Baghi's" unique characteristics. Additionally, the composition showcases a pointillist texture and intricate contrapuntal movements.

TrombionOphone or Riders in the Field of Hope (2017)

Triple concerto for trombone, accordion, and soprano saxophone

Click here to see the full score and recording.

1st prize winner, XXIII International Composition Competition "2 Agosto", premiered by the Tuscanini Philharmonic Orchestra in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy.


"Aposynthesy" ("Decomposition") emerges as a homage to Parviz Meshkatian's influential "Booy-e-Baran" ("Smell of the Rain"), a seminal work rooted in the Persian mode Nava and structured as a Tasnif. This piece, which has profoundly inspired me, intertwines vocal and instrumental narratives within the lyrical embrace of Rumi's poetry and was immortalized by the Tehran Symphonic Orchestra's 1985 recording.

In "Aposynthesy," my tribute to Meshkatian and this evocative composition, I dissect and reassign value to every frequency from the original recording, meticulously quantizing each frequency series to its closest pitch. The temporal essence of the original frequencies is preserved, albeit transformed, by quantizing milliseconds to the nearest 32nd rhythm and applying dynamic stretching and compression. This method distorts yet venerates the original, filtering it through multiple layers of auditory transformation to offer a unique, multi-dimensional perspective on a classic piece.

Aposynthesy [2019] for chamber orchestra

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Click here to see the full score and recording.


With the help of my program, a new compositional direction began in 2018 with the piece I wrote for the JACK Quartet. Starting with that piece, Mise-en-scène, I designed a new notation system based on the morphology theory of music, wherein all the musical elements are decomposed, and the composer has complete control over every individual aspect of music that a performer could think of independently.


I also designed a new rhythm staff utilizing simultaneous irrational tempos (I can relate the concurrency of irrational tempos with the idea of cubism in music) instead of confusing partial tuplets. Both the morphologist approach and the rhythmic design of my new notational system give composers an extreme level of precision and offer new horizons with which to experiment. I believe it could be a new notational language with which composers can access more details and have the facility to use new musical dimensions.

Mise-en-scène [2019] for string quartet

JACK Quartet

Click here to see the full score and audio.


Distorted Landscapes (for bass flute, electronics, and visual media) is about the human destruction of nature and the threat of industrialization to the environment. Distorted Landscapes is an abstract story of the natural wonders in Utah, depicting the way in which they have been gradually ruined over the past one hundred years. These images of Utah’s landscapes were taken between 1905 and 1920. During that period, the states' natural landscapes had been barely touched by humans, making these images symbols of the untouched nature of Utah in the early 1900s. The photographs, over one hundred years old, have low resolution and are somewhat distorted due not only to their age but also because of the comparatively primitive photographic technology of the early 20th century. The generative visuals overlaid on the photographs, the visual media component of this piece, symbolically refer to the increasingly ruined nature of Utah’s natural environment, distorted because of humans’ destructive and excessive use of natural resources.

Distorted Landscapes [2022]

for bass flute, electronics, and visual media

Flute: Kelariz Keshavarz

The piece consists of three episodes:

1- View of the Forest (Part I)
In the first part, I used an image of a mountain forest in Utah taken around 1913. Generative straight lines drawn on the photo add a digital sense of distortion metaphorically equivalent to the destruction of forests over the past decades.

2- View of the River (Part II)
In the second part, I used images from rivers in Utah that held water a century ago, but are now completely dried up due to the climate crisis caused by global warming and humans’ careless and excessive use of natural resources. Generative shadow waves mimic the streams and waves of rivers that do not exist today. This part symbolically emphasizes the substantial negative effect of climate change on the environment we live in.


3- Distorted Views (Part III)

In the final part, the flute music heard in the previous two sections turns into an electronic variation added to loud continuous noises resembling bulldozers and trucks getting ready to exploit Utah’s natural resources. In this part, the generative visuals become gradually more complex and noisier, highlighting the increasing destruction of the environment. At the beginning of this part, a black stain on a white background grows based on the Mandelbrot fractal formula, conquering the screen (nature) like a cancerous tumor.

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