Photo by Hirad Panahi

Ata Ebtekar aka Sote is an electronic music composer and sound artist based in Tehran, Iran. Over the last two decades, he has published his work via established labels such as Warp, Sub Rosa, Opal Tapes, Morphine and Repitch among others. He is a co-founder of SET Festival in Tehran.

Known for creating compositions that range from the delicate to the abrasive, using sounds both of acoustical and electronic origins, Ebtekar sees music as the expression of cultural habits and views on sound and anti sound (silence). Seeking to expand such traditions he creates music that, while rooted in many cultures at once, itself belongs to none in particular. Sote’s work deals with various blueprints, in particular his solo all synthetic music, his electroacoustic a/v group project and his multi-channel sound installations.

Project Descriptions

Several projects by Sote are available for festivals and events – solo performances, his audiovisual work "Sacred Horror in Design", and diverse installation pieces. Please contact us for more information.

"Sacred Horror In Design" with Tarik Barri, Arash Bolouri and Behrouz Pashaei

Photo by Stephan Kaffa

Sacred Horror In Design A/V was developed from a commission by CTM Festival as an audio/visual project in collaboration with Tarik Barri. Inspired by CTM’s 2017 theme, Fear Anger Love, and its relevance to Sote’s childhood following the 1979 Iranian revolution, this performance reveals a dramatic blend of acoustic Persian instrumentation and contemporary electronics.

Working with Arash Bolouri who plays the santour (Persian hammered dulcimer), and Behrouz Pashaei on the long-necked, four-string setar, Sote frames and responds to each instrumentalist’s artistry as the piece oscillates between the traditional and the radical. Bolouri and Pashaei’s acoustic melodies are offset against Sote's electro-acoustical context, their sounds frequently manipulated and distorted beyond recognition.

Realtime visuals are generated by Tarik Barri, known for his collaborations with musicians like Thom Yorke, Paul Jebanasam, and Nicolas Jaar. Analogous to the contrasting elements within the music, the visuals express a constantly shifting dynamic between traditional Iranian patterns and noisy, colourful digital distortions, sometimes appearing in harmony, at other times clashing in violent opposition. Sacred Horror in Design A/V boldly builds and burns bridges as it explores relationships between past and future, image and sound, electronic and acoustic, audience and performer.

Performance at TodaysArt Festival 2017. Photo by Stephan Kaffa
Performance at TodaysArt Festival 2017. Photo by Stephan Kaffa