The Miraz Ensemble has it’s origins dating back to 1997’s electronic band “Blast Away” which featured keyboardists Gary Miraz and Sara Universe, Kambiz Khansari on Roland GR77B bass synthesizer / keyboards and Guitarist Steve Wolf. They mainly played in the Los Angeles underground scene and were primarily an electronic band in the style of Tangerine Dream. The band has two releases 1998’s “Blast Away” and 1999’s “Live at the Lumpy Gravy”
Gary Miraz is known for his graphic design work in the music industry. He has worked with a long list of artist such as Iranian singers Ebi and Siavash Ghoymashi and New Age artists Constance Demby and RAY. In 1998 Gary was hired by LA classically trained cellist Peter Ludwig to join “Tonehenge” A world fusion Techno band which featured three singers. The band was successful to some degree but imploded after one album due internal strife’s. “The singers, good as they were always trying to outdo each other and it drove Peter and me crazy,” says Gary. “The tension was so bad that it affected us as well and we had a fallout, which we eventually were able to fix. He is a great guy and it hurt me that that we allowed that to happen”
In 2000 Gary recorded an ambient album with former German pop star Suzanne Doucet entitled “Resonance” which has become a staple in the new age music scene and is played on countless radio stations around the world. “Suzanne and I knew each other since 1991 and were working together doing design work and consulting for many artists. Gary recalls. “She is an amazing person who has done everything since being very young. I admire her so much. So when she approached me about doing something together I jumped on it. It changed my life as I knew it.” 2003 Brought “Miraz” as he is now known moving to Berlin, Germany. A lifelong dream of his.”Berlin is one of the most amazing, culturally notorious cities in the world.” Miraz states. “I was not going pass that up!” This move led him to work with German cellist Andrea Bauer’s follow up album to her “cello songs for silence” “ Andrea is an amazing composer and an excellent player. I learned so much from her.” The piece “song for Eli” from Andrea’s “Cello Songs…” was featured in Asghar Farhadi‘s film “Darbareye Elly (About Elly)” which won the silver bear award for best director at the 2009 Berlinale film festival. Miraz since 2005 has moved back to Los Angeles and is working on several album projects and a television show slated for 2010.
Sara Universe studied music and the arts at Tehran University. She has two solo albums. 2005’s Beyond Infinity” and soon to be released “Moments of Infinity”. These two works are deep instrumental ambient albums released on the Miraz Musik label, which is owned by both her and Miraz. They have one release together from this time period entitled “Hidden Soundtracks of the Found Mind” which is billed as “Miraz and Sara” The music on “Hidden” is a mix of world, techno, processed acoustics all highlighted by Sara Universe’s haunting vocals. Sara is also an artist and has had exhibitions, most recently in Los Angeles at Phantom Galleries. Both her solo albums show her handiwork as well.
The Miraz Ensemble was created in 2007 and is a more of a different approach than “Hidden…” The songwriting has grown to more of an orchestral, cinematic feel, perfect for film soundtracks. Sara has included the literary works of Iranian poets Hafez and Rumi and various chants from around the world into her lyrics. “I feel we have reached a pinnacle to where we want to be musically for now,” states Sara Universe. “The audiences we have performed to also like the new material, it’s more listener friendly but does not fall into the mainstream.
“Technologically the ensemble is more efficient as well. ” explains Miraz. “We do not have to carry a ton of gear if we don’t we have to. I can do everything without any playbacks or unreliable computers. And I can change my setup to nearly any size at a whim and do different versions of what we have done. We are very flexible”.
The band is now recording the new album. Demos and live recordings, however are posted at www.mirazmusik.com