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Hafez Modirzadeh

San Francisco, CA   

Modirzadeh focuses on highly original, creative, and cross-cultural musical concepts.  As a theorist/composer and saxophonist, his recorded works are released on Pi Records, while his published research continues to unfold a philosophy of sound and metaphor that includes “Aural Archetypes” (Black Music Research Journal), “Compost Music”  (Leonardo), “Convergence Liberation” (Critical Studies in Improvisation), and “Chromodality” (Wesleyan University).  Both an NEA Jazz Fellow and Senior Fulbright Scholar (Spain, Turkey), Modirzadeh is currently a Professor of Music at San Francisco State University.

Hafez Modirzadeh: Crossing the Bridge

F. Oteri’s 2015 essay on Modirzadeh’s musical ideas: (excerpt) Still, no matter how many high-profile collaborators [he] has been able to bring on board, he knows that what he is doing is far removed from the commercial mainstream and he has no problem with that… “The piano is this sacred cow that has to be sacrificed,” he declares. “In a way, it’s beautiful geometry and infinite symmetry, but if you tweak a few tones, then you’ve punctured that circle. With every puncturing there’s some blood, but [then] you’re into the human experience…”

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In Convergence Liberation: Hafez Modirzadeh and ETHEL

Modirzadeh introduces a Principle of Convergence Liberation, in preparation for his world premiere of the same title, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, on July 23, 2011. In his own words (from an article for the on-line journal, Critical Studies in Improvisation – http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/view/943): “As eternity needs time, spirit needs form, and the resultant gravity of both draws the infinite towards a space and shape that compels resolution, partial by partial, a principle of convergence liberation for all.”

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Musical Compost, Consorts and Collapsing Pyramids: On the Disintegration of Traditional Performance Practices to Raise a Sound Society

By introducing a consort of musicians representing traditions from Iran to the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Japan, Korea and the Americas, Modirzadeh presents a paradoxical compost approach of defining while disintegrating musical cultural elements, thus conveying the transformative nature of self and society. His chromodal concept is then illustrated with a collapsing pyramid model, illuminating co-existence as a shared creative source that ultimately expands human potential through extinction of the formal. (published in Leonardo, vol 42: 5, 2009)