Excerpts from Performances
The Silent Child Movie
The Silent Child won the 90th Academy Awards in the Live Action Short Film category.
The music score composed by Amir Konjani.
Amir used his Braille idea here. Four tubes projected shadows in four different directions. Each line represented one spring, which was connected to the cello string. During the composition process, Amir made dots on the tube lines (springs) to navigate the sound direction through the tubes. This way of navigating the sound to project (spatialization), was important in helping me to develop the themes in the cello part of the Silent Child film. During his experimental dotting approach, he discovered that he could use the dots as musical Braille codes, which could be used when harmonizing some parts. Finaly, he tried to assign the name of the characters and lines in the script to the Braille code and transferred the dots to sounds.
Behind the scenes
This technique is part of Amir's research at CalArts and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.The Shadowing idea was inspired by one of Alexander Calder’s installations. My technique uses a single performance act to create two or more different – but related – sounds, separated by timbre and time. For example, for a cello solo part recording in The Silent ChildI have established a performing/mobile installation as a preparation for the cello. The cello strings are attached to springs and large plastic tubes which result in the former generating one group of sounds and the latter re-projecting them. These sounds then create air-like ‘shadow’ sounds, which are slightly delayed and distorted acoustically.
BBC World Commission
Amir Konjani is a composer, performance artist and situation maker. His works have won many awards including an Oscar in the 90th Academy Awards 2018 for the Silent Child movie and he is a 2018 BAFTA Crew participant. Amir has written for the BBC, British Museum, Royal Air Force Museum, Ether Festival, Northwest festival and CalArts, and his works have been performed at London’s Southbank Centre, Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music and Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has collaborated with artists including Clark Rundell, Grammy-nominated pianist Vicki Ray, Ahmad Shamlou, Peter Manning (ROH), Gregory Rose, Anne LeBaron, and Sioned Williams (BBCSO).
He was also nominated for two Gold medals in composition and has been awarded a full scholarship to study for a PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music. Amir has invented a new method of composition called 'shadowing' and ‘tube-spacialisation’, where music is made with tubes and springs. He is also a composition tutor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of music and dance.