The Gāthās

for Piano

Artwork: Rapahel (1509-1511); The School of Athens (detail).
Instrumentation: Piano
Total duration hitherto: 20'
Date: 2018-2020Location: New York, New York, USA

The Gāthās for Piano is a series of compositions of which the rhythmic structure is derived and developed from the language of Zarathustra's homonymous book of poems (The Gāthās), Gāthic or Old Avestan which belongs to the ancient Iranian language group that is a sub-group of Eastern families of the Indo-European languages. These pieces were formed by applying the poem's meter which is historically related to the Vedic tristubh-jagati family of meters. This project, in content, was inspired by the poems expounding on the divine essences of truth (Asha), the good-mind (Vohu Manah), and the spirit of righteousness.

Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanza III was dedicated to Jonathan Powell, in honor of his 50th birthday, by whom it was premiered at NeoArte Festival, Gdansk, Poland, on Saturday, October 26, 2019. This is the recording of the Czech premiere of the piece, by the pianist, at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague's Music Faculty (HAMU) on Friday, November 15, 2019. He performed this composition also in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Irland, on March 5, 2020, and again in the Czech Republic, in Setkávání Nové Hudby Plus (Meetings of New Music), at Janáček Academy (JAMU) of Brno, on December 8, 2020.

Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanzas I & II were dedicated to Jared Redmond by whom they were premiered at the San Francisco Center for New Music, San Francisco, CA, on Friday, February 15, 2019. This is the recording of the Asian premiere, by the same pianist, at Hanyang University, in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, June 3, 2019.

The last page from Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanza I

A page from Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanza II

PERFORMANCES

Ahunavaiti Gāthā, stanza III, Jonathan Powell, pianist.

DECEMBER 8, 2020. Meetings of New Music, Janáček Academy (JAMU), BRNO, THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

MARCH 5, 2020. Queen’s University, BELFAST, IRLAND.

NOVEMBER 15, 2019. The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), PRAGUE, THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

OCTOBER 26, 2019. NeoArte Festival, GDANSK, POLAND.

Ahunavaiti Gāthā, stanzas I & II, Jared Redmond, pianist.

JUNE 3, 2019. Hanyang University, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA.

FEBRUARY 15, 2019. The San Francisco Center for New Music, SAN FRANCISCO, USA.

RECORDINGS

Saman Samadi, Ahunavaiti Gāthā, stanza III, performed and recorded by Jonathan Powell (Prague: HAMU, 2019).

youtu.be/6h7BTirxW1w

Saman Samadi, Ahunavaiti Gāthā, stanzas I & II, performed and recorded by Jared Redmond (Seoul: Hangyang, 2019). soundcloud.com/samansamadi/ahunavaiti-gatha-i-ii