Amiri, Amir

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When I arrived in Canada, the majority of my musical interactions were with western classical percussionists, and through spending time with them I was introduced to different genres of rhythm and percussion. I found myself faced with a stigma that due to my eastern heritage I should have a profound understanding of rhythm and rhythmic cycles. That wasn’t true. In order to play with other musicians, I needed to find a common language. I found rhythm to be a key to translating this language and understanding a more global approach to music. After studying their point of view and trying to imitate their feel and techniques, I found that Afro-Cuban clave was the one that I could relate to the most. This has become my most treasured finding in Canada. I have devoted a significant amount of energy and effort to understanding 6/8 time and its peculiar nature. Almost all my research in this medium starts with an understanding of Afro- Cuban 6/8 clave pattern as a point of reference. It seems that people from different places interpret the same rhythmic cycle so differently. I believe that this phenomenon is the result of the various human environments that define a cultures’ rhythmic point of reference.

My teaching philosophy has strong roots in rhythm and how it behaves in different musical situations. I have a desire to understand the harmonic patterns and activities that appear in music as a result of rhythmic modulations. My goal is for the student to come to an understanding of the function of rhythm in the santur as a percussive instrument. The mallet techniques that I have developed will foster rhythmic confidence in the students that they may access all parts of their instrument with ease. In more advanced levels the students’ facility to improvise will improve dramatically. I have discovered that by paying attention to rhythm, certain limitations in playing will disappear. I have a strong conviction in a new era of possibilities in the art of Santur playing.
I have been fortunate, in my life, to have studied with some extraordinary masters, musicians and pedagogues. Each of these relationships was a unique opportunity to explore aspects of music that have come to inform my compositions, santur playing and teaching. I come to teaching, a sacred and exciting activity, with a desire to share and explore my findings with you. I will use this section of the website to share postings as they become available. I welcome an open dialogue with all people who share the same desire for music.

Amir Amiri has been a Guest Teacher at:

University of Calgary (1998 Also 2009, AB.)
Rhythm workshop (2007, ON)
Music Makers Educational Program – Central Alberta School Tour – 2006 , AB)
Carousel Theatre School (2004, ON.)
Music Makers Educational Program – Central Alberta School Tour – 2003
Red Deer College of Music (2003, AB.)
Grand Prairie College (2000-02, AB.)
Decidedly Jazz Dance works (2000, AB.)
University of Lethbridge (1998, AB)