Mariam Rezaei

Interview by Lasse Marhaug September 2021

What is the origin of your piece "The Sound of Hate”? It's a strong title, what are the political aspect of the piece?

The world has been unified by the global ‘pause’ and ’threat’ of the pandemic. We relied on social media and the internet more than ever before and people’s online personas have been intensified during this time. As the world is trying to open back up after numerous pandemic lockdowns, people are beginning to realise that their country, its economies and communities have been severely fractured. But the world isn’t fair and it isn’t equal. Humans are intelligent. We can learn from the past but not everyone does. ‘The Sound of Hate’ uses speech from several significant historical events in living memory – the Iran/Iraq war, the ‘War on Terrorism’ and the pandemic. Today, we find love, alongside hatred, has been fuelled by capitalist-driven algorithms on social media and now the separation between global communities has been furthered ruptured. Through the turntables, I looking to find a new sound that wrestles with, chews and manipulates hate-fuelled speech into new sounds. This work takes the words and emotions behind hateful policies, leaders, parties and philosophies in the hope of finding new fabrics that could sew together threads of optimism.

Do you see music taking on a new direction and importance in this age of unrest?

I think digital work has been given more credit that it previously had due to the pandemic. I think it would be a real shame to lose the new and imaginative works people have created online. It would be a real shame to not embrace the different audio qualities too. Artist appear to be more impatient and to the point now. Artists have been denied so much, in so many contexts pre-pandemic, to then have the world switch off travel access and lessening people’s freedoms has been very difficult indeed.

Have you worked with multichannel setups before?

I’ve worked with multi-channel in small film scores and theatre before, but other than that, mainly in stereo.

What experiences did you have making it?

I’ve been enjoying finding completely new sounds within sounds and playing with those on multiple turntables. I’ve also enjoyed looping, layering different sounds, and considering how to make sounds move effectively. I’ve also been really concentrating on the volume of individual channels.

What instrumentation/sound sources did you use on the piece?

The work is made up entirely from vocal samples that are manipulated on the turntables including Boris Johnson, Saddam Hussein, Trump and Matt Hancock.

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