Creative Work Examples
Excerpts from the album Butterflies in Disguise (2023)
The excerpts that I would like to share from this album are "Keep My Head" starting at 23:58 and "Good Memories" which follows.
The album Butterflies in Disguise serves as an examination of our ever-growing dependency on technology, how the digital world brings about excessive noise and stifles room for wonder, and how we cope nostalgically, yearning for a simpler time. The title represents an interplay between nature and technology within the music, where acoustic elements become disguised by technology through digital transformation. The title references the opening lyric of the theme song from Reading Rainbow, an influential television show from my childhood. As part of the production process, I worked in the recording studio with musicians exploring various music production strategies such as live arranging, recording the outcome of musical games and structured improvisation, and placing musicians in custom designed virtual environments to influence musical responses. With the addition of many overdubs of vocals and multiple instruments from me and other musicians, the audio material was then digitally sculpted and transformed into an album of ten tracks.
"Keep My Head" (23:58) highlights my production work. For this song, I took sections of recorded material of Ensemble WasteLAnd and drastically manipulated their performances through shifting pitches and timing. I then contributed many overdubs on multiple instruments both acoustical and electronic, and vocals. Furthermore, the overall mix is printed with a cassette tape filter to produce a subtle, nostalgic timbre.
I would like to draw your attention to "Good Memories" --its last section in particular at 31:41. This section features the musicians playing and interacting with an audio tool I created called The Regurgitator. This tool listens to the performer in realtime with a memory timespan that is predetermined; it then augments and diminishes segments of the performance at rates dependent on the selected mode and sends these segments out of the system to the performer. I find this type of feedback system influences the performance in interesting ways, and I found this to be useful for gathering source material during the recording process.
Butterflies in Disguise
1. Danger is Over (0:00)
2. Up in the Sky (3:59)
3. Susie You’re an Angel (7:16)
4. Escape This Paradigm (10:42)
5. Hints of Wonder (13:56)
6. Rise and Shine (19:32)
7. Don’t Pinch Me Now (20:27)
8. Keep My Head (23:58)
9. Good Memories (27:49)
10. One in a Zillion (32:42)
Musickers of Our Time (short film excerpt)
Musickers of Our Time (live theatrical debut- full)
Now more than ever musickers must be at their absolute prime to compete in this saturated world of noisemakers. What you are about to witness is just a glimpse into the training process of these brave musical warriors.
Music, Words, and Story by Hassan Estakhrian
Musickers performed by Samantha Bounkeua, Nina Guo, Madison Greenstone, Max Murray, Weston Olencki, and Mattie Barbier.
Narrator, Jeremiah Miller
Excerpt from Zolk Tizzer (sci-fi rock opera)
The excerpts that I would like to draw your attention to for this work are "Get Out, You Fabricit" starting at 5:40 and "Intergalactic Buffet" at 30:31.
As stated in my cover letter, this multimedia production tells the story of Zolk Tizzer and his Fabricit crew through songs, visuals, and dance. It highlights issues of otherness, influenced by my own upbringing as a conceived outsider in a homogenous community. It also features my use of absurdity and playfulness.