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Siavash Amini returns to Hallow Ground with »A Mimesis of Nothingness,« his fourth album for the Swiss label. Following up on »Harmistice« together with fellow Iranian artists 9T Antiope, the six tracks were conceived in close collaboration with another artist and see the prolific composer intensify his interdisciplinary approach. The six tracks enter a dialogue with the photographs of Nooshin Shafiee, an acclaimed artist whose work capturing their hometown Tehran becomes the starting point for one of Amini’s most visceral and haunting records. »A Mimesis of Nothingness« translates the ephemeral situations and melancholic moods of Shafiee’s pictures into suspenseful soundscapes that masterfully navigate between the concrete and the abstract.
Amini met Shafiee while setting up the sound art space SEDA Projects at the Emkan gallery in Tehran where the photographer’s second solo exhibition was shown. Following the suggestion of curator Behzad Nejadghanbar, the two started a fruitful collaboration that would eventually lead to »A Mimesis of Nothingness,« which was written and recorded between the years 2018 and 2019 and which includes a booklet with a selection of Shafiee’s work. The two share an interest in exploring the sensual experience and the metaphysical dimensions of space. »I was fascinated by Nooshin’s approach,« explains Amini who, ever since releasing the album »TAR« through Hallow Ground in 2017, has focused on how our experience of places is shaped by the individual and collective subconscious. »It wasn’t the Tehran that everyone projected into their work, it was Tehran showing itself through tiny and giant overlooked places or objects.«
Amini’s music accordingly does not seek out a specific sonic picture of the city, but rather lets it come alive on its own terms. »A Mimesis of Nothingness« is a disquieting record precisely because it is a quiet one. Working with field recordings, Amini sculpts dynamic portraits that create an atmosphere of tangible suspense that is never fully released. Even when string-like sounds enter the picture as they do on the third track »Moonless Garden« or when the abstract and glacial noise on »Observance (Shadow)« demand the listener’s attention, the six pieces take hold of the subconscious rather than trying to be direct and confrontational. It is sound conceived not as a description, but a circumscription of spatial relations and the eeriness embedded in them.
»We both saw something decadent or violent about all of these captured places and objects,« says the composer about Shafiee’s pictures. »There is no resolution, just excess. It seems they are eternal remnants of a violent scene, no matter how new or old they were. Never finished, never begotten, a stillborn.« Throughout »A Mimesis of Nothingness,« its ghost roams freely.