The Vulture is inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph "The Vulture and the Little Girl," taken by South African photojournalist Kevin Carter. The photograph, in which a vulture stands in the dirt behind an emaciated child, apparently waiting for it to die, hauntingly captures the desperation and misery of the famine that hit the horn of Africa in 1993.
All the sounds used in The Vulture were derived from a solo double bass performed by Rhys Gates. At certain points during the piece, the goal has been to distance the sound from the actual timbre of the double bass and engage the listeners' imagination in considering different possible sources for the sounds.
Similar to classical styles, in which the basic musical ideas are developed through transposition, diminution, augmentation, retrogression, etc. The source materials in this piece are developed by changes in pitch and texture, using computer processing.
"Vahid Jahandari excelled in his innovative use of electronics. Jahandari’s mixed media work The Vulture transformed double bass samples into bird calls, with reverberant sustains creating a barren landscape. The creaking of bow overpressure gave way to an elegiac bass soliloquy before any remnants of acoustic sound were swallowed by eerie, electronically-manipulated timbres." I CARE IF YOU LISTEN
"Vahid Jahandari‘s fixed media The Vulture was arguably the most impressive work on the programme. Inspired by photojournalist Kevin Carter’s famous troubling image of a vulture lurking near a starving girl, Jahandari’s soundscape transformed sounds from a double bass into an immersive, deeply threatening soundscape. There was something distinctly plaintive lurking within, though, heard in higher register material and fragments of melody, ghostly remnants and traces that seemed doomed in such a glowering environment, and which ultimately disappeared into their own reverb." 5:4
The Vulture was selected from over 100 submissions, comprising six works as the official Texas submission to the organizers in Estonia. Estonian Composers’ Union then received over 500 selected submissions internationally, of which 99 works were finally selected for performance, The Vulture being among the seven representative works from the United States.
The Vulture premiered at EARS: Electro-Acoustic Recital Series in October 2016 for live performance and eight channels fixed electronics. The piece was also choreographed and performed at Ears, Eyes + Feet: collaborative works by composers, choreographers and media artists in May 2017.
World premiere at Ears , on October 25th, 2016 at The University of Texas at Austin
ISCM World Music Days on May 2, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia
SEAMUS on March 21, 2019 at Berklee College of Music
Acoustic Frontiers – CKCU-FM on December 10, 2018
Electroacoustic Barn Dance Festival on November 8, 2018 at Jacksonville University, FL
Ears, Eyes + Feet on May 5-6, 2017 at The University of Texas at Austin