Soundscapes Of Tehran (also as “Tehranscapes), started as an ongoing research project (circa 2016) during the translation of a number of essential articles on the subjects of Urban Planning and Sound Theory by Soheil Soheili. This project started to capture, archive and explore the sonar [aural] qualities of the soundscapes in the city of Tehran, especially across the urban areas with population density. It also seeks to support and reflect upon notions and past studies on urban planning and [now with a touch of] ethnomusicology. Of course, other creative purposes that would follow can also be very useful for sound artists, including post-production for the film and other relative media. This project was NOT founded by any organization.
Being more precise, Tehranscapes started following a field-recording workshop by the field-recording artist and composer Leonie Roessler (NL) in January 2016 covering the technical and artistic aspects of the job, including sound-walks. She is a Sound/Installation Artist, Composer, Performer based in The Hague, Netherlands. Her works have been physically archived in the British Library. The workshop was organized and scheduled by New Media Society during the sixth edition of of ‘Limited Access Festival’ (for moving images, sound and performance) both in Tehran and Esfehan.
Leonie has so far recorded two field-recording albums that she has composed using the sounds she recorded during her trips to Iran, and have also developed sound-installations using the material in parallel. Her works have been released through Musica Dispersa (Spain/UK), and Noise á Noise (Iran).
Working with the field-recordings and composing using such sounds demanded an independent platform that may be interested to publish of the material, a gap that was later on filled by ‘Noise à Noise’ (since 2019) the independent label for experimental music in Iran, in addition to the ‘Studio A’, our production partner whenever we are dealing with the medium of sound.
There were a considerable amount of disappointments in the project, both with the event organizer for the first installation (and it’s statement) and a separate group that came to disregard it by developing something similar a year or less after the open-call, while the translations, technical aspects and the publication label came to be working very well; so we decided to give the website (not the domain) a [meaningful] break for a while, in order to save time, but kept tweeting and building a database to re-upload whenever there is a general appreciation. Yet, this small platform may not become totally defunct and would be kept to help the promotion of related textual/ sound material. Also a milestone in our experiences, from the days that artists like Leonie used to come to Iran and we could not find a label that may be interested in publishing soundscapes and field-recording albums, and there were only a few of scattered scholarly papers and research activities – something that we can consider a progress compared to the present condition.
The activity is gaining more significance both after a more general and specialist knowledge on it, and hopefully after the emergence of a network with academic figures and authors from across the globe, which are now active as ‘Sonic Tehran’ (Since 2021), led by Dr. Laudan Nooshin (PhD). you can read more on the network website. This network which holds the communication between people across the disciplines, including ethnomusicology.
There may not be any more reception of pieces for this project, yet this website is kept online as a small archive of the activity. Past contributors will be asked about their rights prior to sharing or disclosing them to the public or other contributors (creative commons copyright licensing).
The Farsi section of the website is under-construction and will be online very soon.