top of page
Search

NEW WORK: Four Trans-historical Manifestations for chamber orchestra


This suite explores historical musical concepts and styles as they can be integrated into one single original composition. While some moments emphatically resemble styles of the past through their musical content, others reflect less the musical styles they were inspired by and more the philosophical notions associated with the epochs those styles were drawn from.

I. Kalamatianós The Kalamatianós (Καλαματιανός) is one of the most popular and widely performed folk-dances in all of Greece and Cyprus. Dating back to ancient times, it is best recognised by its very joyous melodic nature, and particularly in its 7/8 rhythmic pattern made up of 3+2+2 beats. This movement takes these qualities and applies them to a concert setting, but harmonically takes its inspiration from Ancient Greek music theory of notes, modes and scales. This inspiration is most evident in the beginning melody, and could be interpreted as quite “Eastern” sounding, given the theory of Ancient Greece included such similar harmonic and intonational characteristic. II. Hymnos In 1883, Sir W. M. Ramsay discovered the Seiklos Epitaph (Επιτάφιος του Σείκιλου) (ca. 1st-2nd century) in Tralleis, Turkey, and is widely regarded as the oldest surviving notated composition in the world. Though we can’t know for certain how it would have sounded when it was written, we know that it was most probably sung, that it was a dedication to somebody named “Seiklos”, and through studies of Ancient Greek music theory scholars are able to distinguish the intonations between the notes written, and are able to re- write the composition in contemporary music notation. The Seiklos Epitaph melody is featured in Hymnos through the strings, who play an augmented version of the melody in a canonical fashion. This way, each string player plays the entire melody at different times and starting on different notes.


III. Allemande Like the Kalamatianós, the Allemande is a dance but of Renaissance and Baroque origin. Popular as an instrumental dance, numerous Baroque composers have written works that feature an Allemende such as Bach, Handel and Purcell. Being the third movement of this suite, Allemande takes rhythmic and textual inspiration from the traditional Baroque Allemande but also incorporates altered melodic intonations and orchestral textures that give drive and momentum to the movement.

IV. Song of the Earth Song of the Earth shares the title of Gustav Mahler’s (1860-1911) iconic song cycle (Das Lied von der Erde) written between 1908-1909). This title-share was intended, not only because the movement shares a gigantic orchestral-texture but also in what music of the early-twentieth century represented. Instead of representing a general dance or entire genre trans-historically, Song of the Earth represents the dissolution of unified genres and styles and focuses instead on the great emergence of individuality that occurred around the time of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.


11 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page