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A Post-Intercultural Path: As wide as Persian music, jazz, and Western contemporary music


This dissertation explores the musical and extramusical concepts shaping Diaspersity, a radio opera that I produced in order to reflect on my life as a bicultural immigrant who has been constantly struggling with identity complexities in the music making process. While in the past several decades many musicians have moved towards intercultural practices, in many cases these attempts turn into an unbalanced space where one musical culture appears as an exotic element within a dominant musical culture. I suggest taking a “post-intercultural” path, which can be divided into “post-inter” and “post-cultural”. In a “post-inter” path, combining two musical cultures is neither the motivation nor the intention of a composer, but an organic personal quality based on the composer’s experiences. The “post-cultural” path suggests that, while various musical cultures—which include different musical traditions—exist, culture is a personal concept in the process of a creative work. Based on my personal background and experiences, I concentrate on intercultural music that incorporates classical Persian music, jazz, and Western contemporary music. Therefore, I provide a historical and theoretical analysis of intercultural music practices in Iran and its diaspora. I also analyze the repertoire of classical Persian music and its application in various intercultural settings through studying works by Iranian-American musicians. Ultimately, I argue that achieving a liberating intercultural experience is a fluid process rather than a fixed musical practice.

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