Artwork: Caravaggio (c. 1600); The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (detail).

Instrumentation: violins, viola, cello, piano, and fixed media
Total duration: 56'
Release Date: June 2, 2023Location: Cambridge, UK

This album represents the last three works from Saman Samadi's composition portfolio accompanying his PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge. 


‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
‘We can't, we're afraid!’ they responded.
‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
‘We can't, we will fall!’ they responded.
‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew. (by Christopher Logue) 

The duality of finite space and time evolved to form the cosmos from Vāyu (the infinite Space) and Zurvan (infinite Time), ancient Persians believed. The benevolent alliance of Space-Time was established in the Zoroastrian Avesta. Vāyu, a multifaceted Persian deity of wind and space, was primordially there to shield the creation of Spənta Mainyu. Vayū is superior to both Spənta Mainyu, the Beneficent Spirit, and Aŋra Mainyu, the Evil Spirit. Ahura Mazdā, the creator of the two Spirits, ought to entreat Vāyu for help. Vāyu could appear as a Good Wāy (Wāy ī weh) and the Bad Wāy (Wāy ī wattar); either a yazata (spirit worthy of worship) or daeva (evil spirit), depending upon the course along which the wind blew. In Zurvanism, Vāyu-Vātu represented one facet of the quaternary divinity Zurvan: the vastness of Infinite Space. Vāyu is one etymon I have used to form the title of Vāyuvēra (2020-2021); vēra is derived from the Sanskrit morpheme ver, meaning root, or rhizome. 

Shattering in Seven Pieces for Dream and Wedding and Death (2022), for string quartet, is based on seven pieces from a poem titled Shattering in Fourteen New Pieces for Dream and Wedding and Death [in Persian: shekastan dar chahārdeh qat’e-ye no barāye royā va arusi va marg] (1993), by the late Reza Baraheni (13 Dec 1935—25 Mar 2022), the pioneer of postmodern Persian poetry, to whom this work is a tribute. 

Thus Spoke Earth (2022), for violin and piano and fixed media, is based on Ahmad Shamlou’s poem "pas āngāh zamin be soxan dar-āmad" [in Persian]. ‘Thus Spoke Earth’ is my translation of it, composed in a complex musical space an amalgamation of the two spaces in which Vāyuvēra and Shattering were composed, with Persian modal and prosodic elements. The recording of Shamlou's declamation of his own poem is utilized as an accompanying fixed media for the second part of the piece. 

—Saman Samadi, Cambridge, May 2023 


Junya Makino, violin
Nicholas Swett, cello
Kristin Barone-Samadi, piano 

Shattering in Seven Pieces for Dream and Wedding and Death: 

Saman Samadi, violin I
Junya Makino, violin II
Polly Almond, viola
Sarah Henderson, cello 

Thus Spoke Earth: 

Saman Samadi, violin
Kristin Barone-Samadi, piano