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HENOUSIA CANTATA wins ROSL prize!

Each year, WAAPA and the Royal Overseas League (ROSL) join in awarding outstanding WAAPA students with generous prizes donated by ROSL. One of the prizes, the prize for compositioin, was awarded to Klear for his piece Henousia Cantata for solo soprano, electronics and chamber orchestra!


Photo by ROSL WA


Henousia Cantata is titled with the word Henousia (Ενούσια) as compound word of two Greek words (‘Hen’ from ‘Henosis’ (Union) and ‘Ousia’ (Substance)). Hence, Henousia Cantata surveys notions surrounding a unifying substance to music, art, ethics and reality itself. To explore such concepts, a narrative was constructed where the Solo Soprano begins to contemplate the nature of ‘goodness’, and what exactly ‘goodness’ is. In exploring the nature of ‘goodness’ the Soprano tours philosophical and theological traditions of metaphysics, ethics, relativism. The lyrics takes inspiration from various philosophical texts, such as Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Spinoza’s Ethics, and The New Testament in original Koine Greek. To present more emphatic continuity between the philosophical traditions of these texts, verses from The New Testament was modified to include terminology found in the works of the Hellenistic philosopher Plotinus (specifically replacing “Theos” (Θέος, God) with the term “ To En” (Το Εν, The One). Musically, the work employs lush textures and extended harmonies to reinforce a sense of mysticism to reflect the wonderous endeavour of the Soprano, as well as chaotic and tense sections that act as attacks of doubt, questionability and insecurity when faced with unanswerable questions. The middle section of the work includes chant-like melodies and harmonies of the Greek Orthodox/Byzantine tradition to express the theological concepts explored. Finally, the Soprano comes to the existential conclusion that goodness is what is desired, precisely because it IS desired, and this resolution manifests in the music as a gigantic climax that rounds the work to a complete and content end.


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