Evis Sammoutis 2012
Overwhelmed with creative and administrative work back in his native Cyprus, Evis Sammoutis has kindly sent recordings and programme notes of three recent works.
He has had to delay completion of a projected set of violin duos to follow Diamorphism, with which he first made himself known.
Meanwhile, there are these:
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia literally means the formation of words or names whose sounds imitate the sound they represent, e.g., the word "knock", "hiss", etc. It consists of the Greek words "onoma" - name-and "poiein" -to make. It may also refer to the use of imitative or naturally evocative words for poetic or rhetorical effect. Naturally, both interpretations were very inspiring for me. As a composer primarily interested in the exploration of new instrumental and vocal techniques, the creation of appropriate ways of structuring and formalizing these and the exploration of their syntactic and symbolic meaning, I find onomatopoeia a process that is very close to my own work. In this short composition, I explore sonorities that imitate animal and natural sounds that most people would be familiar with, regardless of background. I then develop these both in a literal and musical manner, playfully exploring aspects of musical and linguistic meaning. The sounds develop into made up words that then also transition to words that listeners may recall. As I knew that the first performance would take place in an outdoors space, I incorporated some of the sound elements that occur naturally in this environment into my sound structure for the piece. This element has the potential to create a dynamic counterpoint between natural sounds and artificial ones, making the title of the work all that more relevant and creating a smooth transition from a world of fantasy to the real one.
Interpunct was commissioned by the Premio San Fedele Giovani Artisti to be played between Beethoven's 3rd and 4th Bagatelles op.126. Interpunct is the small punctuation mark (a vertically centered dot) that was used to separate words in Latin script. Similarly, here a short piece is used to separate two Bagatelles and, therefore, provide a very different narrative / interpretation to the original work. The work was composed not only to serve the artistic purpose of the project and the intended world premiere but also to stand independently on its own merit, which is the case with this recording. Of course, Beethoven's op.126 had a direct impact on the composition of this work both in terms of sound structure and in terms of scope and dramatic realization.
Metioron "I could not quite think or find an authentic translation of Metioron - Μετήορον (ancient Greek form of Μετέωρο) in English. "Hanging in the air" or "suspended" are all words that come close, but they really fail to express the true meaning of this work. The composition tries to find a structural identity between various fragmented, fragile but organically related blocks, which gradually come together as the work progresses. Simultaneously, as the title suggests, it strives to establish a balance between the colors and roles of the four instruments involved. Many aspects of the formal development of the work truly hang in the absolute balance of the material presented, in all its intricate details of sound and texture, its extreme virtuosity and its exact chronotopological positioning. When I was asked to compose a new work to celebrate 50 years of the Cyprus Republic's independence, I found it quite a challenge; celebrating this independence seemed a bit ironic considering the perpetual political problem. Cyprus is itself still Metiori. Like this work, its democracy is fragile, hanging in the air, and it is this aspect of a nation struggling to find its feet, to balance and to move forward that ultimately inspired and shaped this piece." © Evis Sammoutis
PGW, August 2012