The Parameters and Characteristic of Modern Santur.
A Leading exponent of the New Santur style Alan Kushan has passed through multifarious phases of musical composition and performance on his supremely delicate yet highly sophisticated musical instrument — his self-made hammered dulcimer or santur. His compositions and arrangements range from traditional Eastern music to innovations with Western classical and Eastern mystical music, to jazz and world music, thereby creating newer, fresher, elevated musical forms.
Alan Kushan relentlessly expands the horizons of his art form. The speed and precision of his dazzling techniques on his self-made santur are simply breathtaking.
He studied music composition in Zurich, Koln and Berlin as well as Canada and the U.S. He studied with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Ustad Vilayat Khan, among other master musicians. As a child, he studied under three of the greatest Persian santur masters, H. Malek, F. Payvar, and R. Varzandeh.
Over time, not satisfied with the limited range and capacity of his chosen musical instrument, Alan decided to apply his skills as a master instrument-maker to broaden the range of his instrument by adding elements from the modern piano, the harp and the guitar. The result is a unique and powerful instrument, which embodies the musical textures of the ancient and the new.
He cultivates exploration of unusual “universal frequencies”, claiming that this is and has been a prominent source of his creative energy. During the 80s he cultivated expressions of freedom and immediacy against a backdrop of constant "galactic buzz", while deliberately suspending control of reason and will.
He applies this spontaneous perspective not only in his artistic and poetic creativity but also in his everyday life. Alan Kushan’s performance method reveals an academically meticulous technique that is, paradoxically, in stark contrast to the "dream space" he generally endeavours to depict, and its markedly other-worldly, mystical dimensions.
Alan Kushan has come to the realization that Time itself is captured within Sound, so that it is Sound that is boundless and limitless, and Time itself is a Prisoner within its paradoxical confines. “The Dimension of Sound is akin to the vast universe that mercilessly compels me to progress beyond its peripheral territories. I wish to experience these states of consciousness thoroughly and primordially, so that I may evolve both dynamically and philosophically as an Artist.”
“It is the Quintessence of Sound that I seek. This is an eternal quest for any authentic musician. Alas, what is the source of this quintessence? In order to achieve it, I must be released from my mortal frame for a deeper, more spiritually penetrating journey, all the way back to this source, and then forwards again towards the ultimate consummation of that self-same journey. Could this then be the Silence of God? A mirror of the Absolute Divine?”