Badie Khaleghian is a composer and multimedia artist interested in collaborative and innovative storytelling projects to ignite imaginations, conversations, and experiences. He creates performances embracing the intersection of art, cultures, science, technology, and people. His works have been included in festivals such as the Atemporanea Festival (Buenos Aires City, Argentina), Korea Electro-Acoustic Music Society’s Annual Conference (Seoul, Korea), Ammerman Center’s Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, Omaha Under the Radar, Alba Music Festival (Italy), and performed by ensembles such as Crossing Borders, Hub New Music, Talea Ensemble, Transient Canvas, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He currently lives in Houston, Texas, pursuing his doctorate degree in composition at Rice University while composing, teaching, and researching.


Badie Khaleghian is an Iranian-born-American composer, multimedia artist, performer, and educator. Described as “a well-crafted, attractive modern score” ((ARTS ATL), Khaleghian’s music embraces the intersection of art, cultures, science, technology, and people. The intersections between sound, visuals, movement, and abstraction function as the focal point of his creative practice. His recent works engage live interactive data visualization and sonification of any type of data, from motion capturing to sound amplitude followers to the brain’s electrical activity (EEG).

As a performer, he frequently performs the kamancheh (Persian string instrument) with interactive audio and visuals. His most recent project, Electric Sky Blue, for piano, movement, and interactive intermedia, has been performed in the United States, Korea, and Argentina. In addition, his music has been included in festivals such as The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (NYC), CampGround23 (Tampa, Fl), Turn-Up Multimedia Festival (Tuscon, AZ), the Atemporanea Festival (Buenos Aires City, Argentina), Korea Electro-Acoustic Music Society’s Annual Conference (Seoul, Korea), Ammerman Center’s Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, Omaha Under the Radar, and Alba Music Festival (Italy), and performed by ensembles such as Crossing Borders, Hub New Music, Talea Ensemble, Transient Canvas, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Khaleghian’s research and creative interests include the intersection of art and science. He is involved in collaborative research with the University of Houston’s IUCRC BRAIN Center, Houston Methodist’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine, and Rice University Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. He is finishing his doctorate in music composition at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy consists of four central elements: the student, fundamentals, creativity, and citizen artistry. Each student has a different background, goals, desires, or experiences. So every student must be treated uniquely and individually. My approach to studio teaching and classroom teaching accounts for this range of ambitions and interests and the student’s opportunity to find and express their unique voice. My primary role as a teacher is to ensure my students develop all the necessary skills to realize their full potential as musicians, to be exceptional musicians to enjoy a happy, productive, and creative musical life.

As eating a healthy balanced diet is vital for our body, a desirable teaching pedagogical method should be based on regular and balanced attention to the core elements of fundamentals, literature, individual self-awareness, and musical comprehension. Private lessons and classroom lectures feature combinations of traditional music theory that are enhanced through technology.

As an academic professor, my central goal is to create a prosperous musical state that gives students an intensive professional education in their musical disciplines. It is crucial to prepare students with a solid foundation in music and extensive liberal arts education to develop informed and inquiring minds that enable them to engage in their art’s fundamental issues and become influential cultural leaders.

My goal is to encourage students to listen and think critically and harness their own imaginative powers. Creativity through composition and improvisation helps students to find their voice and fosters it in a supportive and non-intimidating way. As a composer, I believe composers need to master the canon but a revolt against it. Although my students must know about 16th-century counterpoint, 18th/19th-century musical form, or 20th-century set theory, they also need to learn how to break the rules and think outside of the box, how to collaborate, and how to be an outstanding musician in the 21st century.

The complete musician is someone who explores, embodies, and masters many aspects of music. These may include performance, theory, history, model composition, improvisation, multimedia, entrepreneurship, and many others. Each of these music areas strengthens the others and prepares students for their musical careers. It has been my personal goal to adopt this interdisciplinary path to cultivate my musical experience and be an example for my students.

Community engagement has been part of my artistic career as a composer, performer, and educator. I am interested in having an ongoing artist-citizen curriculum to equip my students with the critical skills they need as musicians in the 21st century. I would love my students to learn how to design and implement unique performance projects that combine artistry with the invention, leadership with advocacy, and citizenship with the community.

Artistic Statement

Walking into an eight-hundred-year-old coppersmith bazaar in my hometown, Kerman, in Iran, I stopped and closed my eyes: an arrhythmical metallic percussive sound came from every shop, where artists were making handicrafts and trying to synchronize their strikes with neighboring shops. Three different calls to prayer in different tones and styles emanate from huge, beautiful mosques surrounding the bazaar. For six-year-old me, the mixture of the percussive sounds inside the bazaar with the spiritual singing outside was magical. More than twenty years later, upon hearing that eighty percent of the bazaar burned in an accidental fire, I reproduced my old memory thousands of miles away from home by composing a quadraphonic fixed media piece, And Sound Never Dies. My early encounter with the unpredictable spatial sound that I witnessed at the bazaar in Kerman inspired me to include a free and improvisatory middle section in most of my pieces. Composing is the best way to fuse my past, present, and future to uncover my growth path. My childhood atmospheric sound space shaped my interest in conventional Middle Eastern music, while my adventurous spirit explores existing and imaginative sound worlds.

As a minority who was banned from higher education in Iran, I came to the United States as a refugee in 2014 to pursue my educational dreams. During this transition, I had to internalize a sudden change in my 20s: a force to leave my home, face new challenges, and experience new cultures raised in me the question of identity. My recent works project this dual identity in different forms. Naturalization is an ongoing project that explores my identity realization journey when I became a dual citizen. This cycle does not focus on the political or social aspects of immigration. However, it addresses immigration from an individual viewpoint and how immigrants struggle with changes and cultural shocks. Narrating this personal issue was/is the best outlet for me to express the feeling of being lost, losing identity, adopting a new identity, balancing between old and new identity, and all the associated emotions.

As a citizen artist, I like to contribute to society through new music. I believe new music is an excellent platform to touch on sensitive matters and provides a safe space for the audience to imagine and exploration of new ideas. Debilitator is a product of close collaboration between saxophonist Dan Phipps, psychologist Cortland Hyatt, and me. This piece is an intellectual exploration of “loneliness in modern society” and narrates an intimate journey of suffering from loneliness. Reflection is an example of a piece that provides space for dialogue within a community. In this piece, the music reflects how the dialogue progresses in real-time and interacts with the audience’s decision-making. While I certainly cherish positively improving my community through my music and artist citizenry, my even greater hope is that my music profoundly impacts listeners and gives them joy.

© 2022 by Badie Khaleghian. All rights reserved.