Collaborative Teaching Activities
The University of Alabama School of Music
Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Composition
Rebecca Salzer, from the Department of Theatre and Dance, and I have been working together in a collaborative partnership for five years. We strive to create new, innovative art and enjoy sharing our passion for doing so with our students. Because our continued collaboration has sparked an observable enthusiasm in and amongst our collective student body, offering a Special Topics course on Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Composition during the Spring 2018 term seemed timely. Collaborative Composition explored collaborative strategies as well as the shared compositional principles behind all time-based art. Students from the Music Composition program of the School of Music and from the Department of Theatre and Dance, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, enrolled in the course. While it is challenging to align the schedules necessary to offer this course, we do intend to offer it again in future years. The interdepartmental connections, expanded compositional vocabulary, and collaborative skills acquired in this class have been noticeable in students’ subsequent work.
The Dance Alabama Film Festival’s fourth annual showing took place on February 13, 2019 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. This year’s festival was funded in part by the Tuscaloosa Arts Council, and included an outreach component in which DAFF faculty and students taught a dance-film workshop to students at the Alberta School of Performing Arts. This year’s festival featured 13 original new dance-films with original scores. In collaboration with Rebecca Salzer, I co-advise the student participants, facilitate collaborations, and adjudicate throughout the process. Students submit film treatments in October, and then student organizers work with me to assemble collaborative teams, including directors, cinematographers, editors, choreographers, composers, and performers. Students submit rough cuts in December, after which Rebecca Salzer and I provide feedback and select films to continue to completion and exhibition. Finally, a jury of faculty and external reviewers is convened to give awards for Best Choreography, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Performance, and Best of the Festival.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Eleven of my composition students have been selected to collaborate with the Yonder Contemporary Dance Company for a creative research and international performance residency at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in August of 2019. We have begun work on this large-scale project, which will also involve the creative work of 15 student dancers, seven student choreographers, and two students from the Advertising and Public Relations program. Local and regional performances will take place in Tuscaloosa, Memphis, and Atlanta, in preparation for the international event.
I have accepted my third invitation to serve as a faculty mentor in the University of Alabama Emerging Scholars Program. Preliminary meetings and research discussions began in October of 2015, with Emerging Scholar Alaric Rohl. Formal research for our project, "Toward Devising a Musical Scale based upon an Irrational Number," began in January of 2016. As our collaborative research has continued, a large and important amount of data has been collected. At this juncture, Alaric is working closely with me as we analyze the results of our studies, prior to potential artistic implementation.
© Copyright 2019 Amir Zaheri All Rights Reserved
Reproduction of any portion of the materials found within amirzaheri.com,
regardless of media type,is strictly prohibited. Exceptions will be noted.