Electroacoustic Music Compositions

Nordic (2020)

Duration: 02:59'

Stereo electroacoustic composition

Composed in the composer's personal studio

 Program note: " Mediterranean dreams of the nordic..."

Telchines (2012)

Duration: 07:30'

Stereo electroacoustic composition 

Composed in ERHMEE Studios (Lab for Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications), Corfu, GR. Performer recorded: Iliana Karaliga [singing and didgeridoo] 

Program note: Telchines were four mysterious magician-smiths and sea demons native to the islands of Keos and Rhodes. They invented the art of metal-working and were said to have crafted the sickle Kronos used to castrate his father Ouranos and later a magical trident for Poseidon which the god used to lever mountains into the sea and form the islands. Their malignant use of magic later angered Zeus, who cast them beneath the sea or into the very depths of Tartaros. These strange Sea Demons were sometimes described with the heads of dogs and fish-flippers for hands.

Erevos (2011)

Duration: 07:15'

Stereo electroacoustic composition Composed in ERHMEE Studios (Lab for Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications), Corfu, GR. Program note: "From Chaos came Erevos and black Night, but of Night were born Aether and Day, whom she conceived bore from union in love with Erevos." The Theogony of Hesiod, v. 49 - 51 

The work is inspired by the ancient Greek mythology of Hesiod's Theogony. Erevos the son of Chaos - that represents the personification of darkness- had the sperm, "the seed", for Aether and Day to be born. This symbolism of the myth is seen in this composition as a possible path with which existence is moving from darkness to light and completion. The myth belongs to an ancient past but it is used in the present by activating a musical compositional process. A process that attempts to express a crossing from a myth to an abstraction and from a symbol to an experience of darkness and terror. The question is then set: could this path lead to Light and Aether, or is doomed to lead to destruction.

Echo the nymph of reflection (2020)

Duration: 09:33'

Stereo electroacoustic composition

Composed in the composer's personal studio

Performers recorded: Machi Dimitriadou Lindahl [dance] and Agnese Banti, Iliana Karaliga and Fotini Dakaki [singing performance] 

Programme note: Echo is a tragic nymph. She is the nymph that was punished with the curse of not being able to speak her own words, but only being able to repeat the last words spoken by another person. This cruel punishment led to her tragic end. She lost her body and became a spirit, existing in all those places-spaces that echo our voices back. 

Echo did not consider the consequences of her actions, she failed to reflect on them and, as a result, she received this cruel punishment. Is it possible to think of Echo as a symbol of a process that can lead to completion? When Narcissus asked Echo "Who are you?", he received the echorepetition of his question. This triggered something inside him; it made him realise that he is the son of the rivernymph. What he really wanted then was to reconnect with his mother and his real nature, to become one with the source of his creation. This liberated him, but, at the same time, brought his human life to an end. 

The myth could be a reminder that reflection is a way to understand and realise things about ourselves. Echo is one of these reflections; she can make our voice, which is asking the question "Who are you?", return to us and ask us who we are. How do we feel when we hear our voices ask us who we are? Can this, as previously suggested, lead to an understanding and realisation, or is it also possible for it to lead to destruction? The easiest, but, also the most honest answer, is that both are possible. If both realisation and destruction are possible, then can we choose which of the two we want? If it is possible to choose, what would you choose?

Stous Theous [To the Gods] (2012)

Duration: 04:50'

Stereo electroacoustic composition 

Composed in MANTIS, Novars Research Centre Studios, Manchester, UK

Programme note: "From the grounds of this earth to the Buddha and beyond". 

'Stous Theous' ( 'To The Gods') refers to the process of praying and the need of people to communicate with Gods, seeking to reach that inner spiritual state of 'nirvana'. The composition is trying to capture in an abstract and spontaneous way that specific feeling of tuning in and gradually moving closer to that undefined spiritual state.

Balloon Theories (2013)

Duration: 14:30'

Stereo Electroacoustic Composition

Composed in Novars Research Centre Studios (Manchester University, Manchester, UK)

Programme note: "I was always enjoying squeezing balloons, pressing them with my fingers until they pop... It has not been up until now that I realised why..."

 Balloons can existentially symbolise that which is an empty thing and can become easily big when blown with air. The balloons in their blown size and in regard with the space they occupy can be equally terrifying or exciting. However, the emotional charge they cause can be easily increased and then instantly seized when the balloons are popped. The existential questions is then set: is this blowing and popping process meaningful; and are these processes worth being part of our existence? 

Thalassa (2013)

Duration: 09:30'

Stereo Electroacoustic Composition

Composed in Novars Research Centre Studios (Manchester University, Manchester, UK)

Programme note: "To your splashing and crushing, blessing waters..."

Thalassa (Θάλασσα), Sea. The word was chosen to be presented in Greek language because of the sounds that the specific word involves in it ( 'th' 'Θ' and ss); a strong reminiscent of the real - world sounds produced from the sea. Thalassa is a soundscape composition that uses sounds produced from the sea and sound that have a metaphoric connection with it. It explores the flow and the inner pulse of the sea and attempts to create the impression of a viewer and listener who moves from a realistic prospect to an abstract experience of a mythical and atmospheric sea world.

Noise Triangle (2018)

Duration: 03:10'

Stereo electroacoustic composition 

Composed in ERHMEE Studios (Lab for Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications), Corfu, GR. 

Program note: "The cries of the infants, the noise and the pure sine waves"

The work was commissioned by the fine artist Kleopatra Hatzigiosi to accompany her mixed-media installation work Stage/Theatrical Space.

Moments of Liberty I: Outside and Insight [excerpt] (2016)

Duration: 15:14'

Stereo reduction of an 8 channel surround format.

Composed in USSS, University of Sheffield, UK.

Programme note: "From there to here ..." Moments of Liberty as an extra musical concept stands, evolves and progresses around a human, whose existential being seeks to become and experience liberation (or what is thought to be liberation) in moments. Seeking is seen within this conceptual frame as an extremely intense and dramatic need to become liberated. A need that is a response to a to the state of being enslaved. The need and its creation also suggest that there was a moment of realisation of what the current state is, signifying that before it there was another state; that of ignorance.  

Moments of Liberty I: Outside and Insight abstractly explores these stages by presenting a state of apparent calmness and tranquillity that violently and suddenly breaks, giving its place to tension and agony. This transition symbolises the realisation from the character that he is enslaved, contained and ignorant. The journey to find liberation commences from this point inside a voluminous and reverberant space. A space that symbolises the subconscious of the character, that which he entered violently after his realisation, and that which he attempts to understand.

Moments of Liberty II: Falling Within [excerpt] (2017)

Duration: 14:13'

Stereo reduction of an 8 channel surround format.

Composed in USSS, University of Sheffield, UK.

Programme note: "From here to nowhere..." The character continues his journey from where he left it in Moments of Liberty I. Inside the reverberant space -his subconscious- the character moves, opens doors and lights matches in an attempt to find, to understand, to perceive and to shed light into this unknown territory. Through exploration the character reveals new female characters. These symbolise deep elements of his subconscious that come to the surface to express: agony, drama, tension and the continuously present theme of being enslaved, of being contained and of seeking liberation.

As the journey continues, a metaphorical upwards movement appears symbolising momentarily illusionary moments of feeling liberated. There follows a number of intense percussive movements that express the constantly failing attempts to penetrate through the state of containment. The journey concludes by creating questions of an inevitable state of containment; a continuous failing to pass through and a constant falling from any attempt to reach liberation - or what is thought to be liberation.

Moments of Liberty III: Standing Without [excerpt] (2018)

Duration: 10:45'

Stereo reduction of an 8 channel surround format.

Composed in ERHMEE Studios (Lab for Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications), Corfu, GR.

Performers recorded: Alejandra Caro, Maria Jesus Intostroza [movement] and Fotini Dakaki [singing performance].

Programme note: "From nowhere to somewhere..." In Moments of Liberty III the characters continue their journey with more intense, dramatic and conscious attempts to break their state of containment. Through these dramatic attempts, the characters experience moments of liberation, or what is thought to be liberation. For the characters, these are moments of release, moments where the drama is eased and experienced from a distance. A distance that becomes central as it makes the characters wonder if the moments of liberation are experienced when they get distant from a relatively fixed system of perception, interpretation and response; a system that is no other than the self.

This self is a relatively fixed and defined system of perceiving-interpreting and responding-reacting to what has been perceived and makes the characters further wonder if the content of what they have perceived is created by the same system of self. Thinking the possibility of this proposition to be true, the characters further wonder if their dramatic experience of being enslaved, with all the agony and tragedy it includes, is a prearranged, made up and fixed response of themselves. A proposition that further indicates that the content of this response could be a made up construct, an imaginary act of themselves. The most tragic inference of this scenario is that the idea of liberation is also an imaginary thing, a made up construct. This suggests that it is not possible for a real exit to happen since wherever the characters decide to go, the place-situation reached is a construct of the system of self. Being enslaved thus refers to a state of being enslaved to the self. Consequently, the only real exit, revealed from the moments of liberty, is the exit from the self. The greatest wonder is then created in the characters and that is, if it is possible to exist without the self.

Moments Of Liberty IV: Towards the Sea [excerpt] (2019)

Duration: 16:48'

Stereo reduction of an 8 channel surround format. 

Composed in ERHMEE Studios (Lab for Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications), Corfu, GR. 

Performers recorded: Vasiliki Makou. 

Programme note: "From somewhere to everywhere." Moments of Liberty IV concludes the journey by suggesting the exit of the male character from his space-place of containment and enslavement. A female character in a realistic nature-soundscape as a symbol of an existential consciousness enters the space-place of the character's containment and enslavement and through an abstracted interaction she guides him outside. This act proposes that it is unnecessary to break the containment-enslavement space-place-state. What rather seems necessary is to realise that an entrance was used, deliberately or not, to enter this space-place-state and by using the same path in the reverse direction it is possible to simply exit it.

While this narrative attempts to direct what is happening, it fails because the composition itself, in an imaginary condition, goes beyond its included characters, turning to itself in an attempt to become liberated. Based on this condition, the composition is seen as an entity that attempts to break free from its predefined prearranged aesthetically and narratively driven compositional self; discarding principles of coherence, consistency, balance, meaning, structure and form causing in this way the disruption and tearing up of the narrative thread. The question is then set by asking if the previously proposed exit is the exit from one unpleasant containment-state to a different, more pleasant containment-state. If this is the case, the question continues by further asking if the only way to attain liberation is by destroying the system of perception; the self. That which is the creator of the containment and enslavement space-place-state; that which is the creator of the drama and its resolution; that which is me and you.

Koxylia [Sea Shells] (2014)

Stereo Electroacoustic Composition

Duration: 12:03'

Composed in SeaM studios  (University of Music Franz Liszt, Weimar, DE). 

Programme notes: " The coach shell is the voice of Buddha the birth-bed of Aphrodite, the horn that drives away the daemons and draws the lost mariners home from the sea. Coloured by the moon, shaped by the primal geometry, it is the original dreamboat, the sacred submarine fertility to its rendezvous with poetry..."

Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All, page 70.

© 2023 Dimitris Savva
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