Prison Episodes, an opus five years in the making, is Pouya Pour-Amin's cry of anger and sorrow against our times. Structured as a series of sketches, this harrowing and powerful album explores the experiences of a political prisoner from her or his incarceration to breaking point.
In this era of political extremism, repression and very often despair, this album could not be more timely. Composed in Tehran, Prison Episodes is a meditation on political repression, defiance and the limits of endurance and hope. Harsh, grating, transcendent and despairing it offers a soundtrack to our global political moment.
Pouya Pour-Amin is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and actor from Tehran, Iran. He has worked with Tehran`s Camerata contemporary music ensemble both as a double-bass player and a composer, and presented works at SET Fest in Tehran, CTM in Berlin as well as composing for theatre, film and TV in Iran. He is also active, along with Sara Bigdeli Shamloo and Nima Aghiani in the band Migrain Sq. Pour-Amin first appeared on Flaming Pines as part of the Absence showcase of experimental music from Tehran, curated by Arash Akbari. This is his first full release on the label.
released June 26, 2019
A note on the artwork:
The artwork for this album is by the prominent Iranian contemporary artist and grave marker Barbad Golshiri. Entitled Quod 2010 it features words in Persian of the prison memories of A’ezam, a political prisoner of the 1980s, retold by Akbar Sardouzami. The text reads:
'A’ezam has been degraded and tortured, living in timelessness and facelessness. She has nothing, and has turned to nothing, she says. Then one day she finds a rusty pin in her solitary confinement. She starts to draw squares, and the squares become her world: ‘Then I saw if I draw a square within another square and reach the depth, the square turns to a point. The cell was too dark, but I could see a point in the middle of the square that helplessly looked up at me and said: you should testify that I’ve been a square. You are the only one who knows that I have been and still am a square.’
All music composed by Pouya Pour-Amin
Violin/Viola: Adel Poursamadi
Trumpet : Sardar Sarmast
E.Doublebass : Pouya Pour-Amin
Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.
Album Art : Quod by Barbad Golshiri
supported by 12 fans who also own “Prison Episodes”
I did not find this the easiest or most immediate album to get into on first listen, but on repeated listens it is really growing on me. Moody Iranian experimental ambient with scraping/droning strings, field recordings, noise, hypnotic folky vocals, and a slightly chaotic, dislocated vibe all of its own. Unusual, haunting, and recommended if you have time to dig past the surface. Very rewarding. David Smith