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Ikon of Nipsis

Conducted by Carlo Antonioli
Performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 
Supported by
The Cybec Foundation 
as part of The Cybec 21st Century Australian Composer's Program

KLEARHOS MURPHY - Ikon of Nipsis (10 mins)


Conducted by Carlo Antonioli

Performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Sharing with permission from Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Supported by The Cybec Foundation 

as part of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composer's Program

MUSICIANS PERFORMING IN THIS CONCERT FIRST VIOLINS Tair Khisambeev Sarah Curro SECOND VIOLINS Monica Curro Isin Cakmakçioglu VIOLAS Christopher Moore Anthony Chataway CELLOS Elina Faskhi Michelle Wood DOUBLE BASSES Rohan Dasika FLUTE/PICCOLO Andrew Macleod OBOE/COR ANGLAIS Rachel Curkpatrick CLARINETS David Thomas Jon Craven CONTRABASSOON Brock Imison HORNS Nicolas Fleury Abbey Edlin TRUMPETS Owen Morris Rosie Turner TROMBONES Mark Davidson TUBA Timothy Buzbee TIMPANI John Arcaro PERCUSSION Robert Cossom HARP Megan Reeve Notes: In Eastern Orthodoxy, icons (εικόνες) play a central role in worship and veneration. Not only are they visual-artistic representations of Christ, saints and events as described in holy scripture, but they also act as testimonies to the most important doctrine in Christianity: the incarnation of God the Son in Jesus Christ. Through this incarnation, the very capacity for one to depict God becomes possible. Furthermore, the treatment of icons in Orthodoxy is contextualised within the grander veneration of Holy Scripture, particularly the Gospels. As the late Kallistos Ware describes, “Orthodoxy regards the Bible as a verbal icon of Christ, the Seventh Council laying down that the Holy Icons and the Book of the Gospels should be venerated in the same way”. In this work, I take the concept of iconography to sound. Instead of focusing on the life of Christ or a saint, I focus on an integral Eastern Orthodox concept called Nipsis (Νῆψις) or Watchfulness: is the process of guarding one’s thoughts to keep the heart pure. To firmly ground the work in the Orthodox tradition, I developed a structure (formal, harmonic and rhythmic) based on an excerpt from St. Nikephoros the Monk’s 13th-century work On Watchfulness. In doing so, I believe the work has a justified structure that is found in a tradition to which I am striving to contribute. It is not my intention to write a work designed to be venerated, but to bring light on a concept integral to the Orthodox faith, and also to highlight the paramount event of Incarnation. Instagram: @klearhosmurphy Website:

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