The Blind Owl
for fixed media
Narrator: Sahel Salam
Mezzo-Soprano Singer: Page Stephens
Piano: Farshad Tahvildar-Zadeh
Double Bass: Rhys Gates
Author Sadegh Hedayat wrote a novel titled “The Blind Owl” in 1936, which later became a major 20th-century literary work and also Hedayat’s magnum opus. “The Blind Owl” conveys a tale of the nightmares of the narrator, where he relates that “…death that beckons us from the depths of life... Throughout our lives, the finger of death points at us.” He also confesses many incredulous things to his shadow, which, when it appears on his wall, closely resembles an owl. The reference to the owl being blind is a reflection of the narrator’s prior lack of self-awareness.
The reference to the owl being blind is a reflection of the narrator’s prior lack of self-awareness. In order to make the music universally appealing and relatable, the text was used in the piece, was translated from Persian to English. The primary electronic techniques that are used to process these sounds include changing voices’ pitch, and/or duration, and boosting or weakening various parts of their spectra – to resemble a variety of different types of people of varying ages who are acknowledging this.
In “The Blind Owl”, as the narrator conveys his hallucinatory head-space/nightmares to the reader, it has been tried equally to emulate the same sense of morbidity and aimed for the listener to feel disturbed by the sounds were created to align with the novel. The piece also reflects the sense of loneliness and solitude that is experience by the narrator as he recounts his experiences.
The Blind Owl was premiered at "Ears, Eyes + Feet". Collaborative Works by composers, choreographers and media artists from The University of Texas at Austin.
This annual performance of collaborative invention and experimentation showcases the talents of students and faculty from the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music and The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theater and Dance.
May 5-6, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
B. Iden Payne Theater