ΧΟΡΟΣ (Chorós) for Ensemble (2005)
In my composition “ΧΟΡΟΣ“ (“CHORÓS”, Greek for “dance” but also “(the) dancing”), I was inspired by elements of traditional Greek music: subtle rhythmic-melodic ornamentations, heterophony, asymmetrical metric divisions and to a certain extent an ecstatic dance character. How can such material be integrated into a contemporary music context?
I selected melodies (in simplified forms) from three traditional Greek dances and began to work with this material with varying degrees of distance to it. I used techniques such as polyphonic heterophony, overlapping, rhythmic and melodic transformation, mixture and canon, so that I could reach an “impartial,” independent account. Although, one can hear the traditional material in a more or less filtered way: its melodic aspects remain audible in spite of structural development and re-contextualization. The Ensemble in “ΧΟΡΟΣ“ is divided into four groups, three of which have solo instruments. The aim of this division was to enable variability as well as clarity and contrast. At the same time, each instrumental group is a kind of “hyper-instrument” with many more capabilities than a single instrument (mixtures, overlapping, creation of sound-objects, etc…) In the end, the question remains: why use such material? In the case of this piece there is a double aspect: on the one hand to “conjure up” a kind of vitality of melody and rhythm as well as an “arch-typical” dance character, and on the other to write a short “homage” to a form of traditional music with a rich and long historical background. Last but not least there is a musical line of questioning on the relationship between traditional and contemporary art music that takes place: In “ΧΟΡΟΣ“ it is exactly this line of questioning that is pushed to the foreground and the conflict between traditional and new, popular and artistic, “inherited” and “acquired” is made a central focus.
“ΧΟΡΟΣ“ was commission by the IEMA and was financed with funding from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Paxos Spring Festival. The piece is dedicated to my mother, Dora Vlitaki.
Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie and Paxos Spring Festival
|Duration||approx. 8 Min.|
|Instrumentation||1 Flute, 2 Clarinets, Piano Four-Hands, 4 Violins, 1 Viola, 3 Cellos|