VISIONS CARAVASSILIS PETROWSKA QUILICO The Complete Book of Rhapsodies and Fantasias

VISIONS (click to listen)
Όταν δύο αυθεντικοί καλλιτέχνες συμπράττουν το αποτέλεσμα δεν μπορεί παρά να είναι μαγικό. Ο Ελληνοκαναδός Κωνσταντίνος Καραβασίλης γράφει μουσική και η Καναδή πιανίστα Christina Petrowska Quilico ζωγραφίζει, με τα δάκτυλά της αλλά και με τα πινέλα της, τις μουσικές δημιουργίες του νεαρού συνθέτη. Ο λόγος για τον πρώτο ψηφιακό διπλό δίσκο του Καραβασίλη με τίτλο "Visions". Ο δίσκος περιέχει σε δύο μεγάλους κύκλους δέκα αυτοτελή έργα για σόλο πιάνο. Ραψωδίες και Φαντασίες εμπνευσμένες κυρίως από την Ελληνική μυθολογία και Βυζαντινή παράδοση. Δύο ώρες εξαιρετικής μουσικής που διεγείρει τη φαντασία του ακροατή και απογειώνει τις αισθήσεις μέσα από τη μοναδική ερμηνεία της Christina Petrowska Quilico η οποία κατά την περίοδο της ηχογράφησης δημιούργησε εκατόν δέκα εικαστικά έργα βασισμένα στα χρώματα, τα οράματα (εξού και ο τίτλος Visions) αλλά και τα συναισθήματα όπως αυτά προκύπτουν μέσα από τη μουσική εμπειρία.
Απολαύστε αντιπροσωπευτικά δείγματα ήχου και εικόνας με ξεναγό στις πηγές της μουσική έμπνευσης και δημιουργίας, τον ίδιο τον συνθέτη. 

 Postcard from Smyrna 
Postcard from Smyrna was inspired by Middle Eastern music, the picturesque neighbourhoods and ancient ruins of Asia Minor, as well as the islands of the Aegean. Following a minimalist, meditative opening, the borrowed melody of a demotic song from Smyrna depicting a drunken peasant being teased for his uncertain gait by children in the street, begins to unfold. Elements of regional folk music are intertwined throughout the piece, including: 9/8 time, the Hejaz mode, the improvisational treatment of melodic material reminiscent of the Taksim, and segments imitating the sounds of traditional instruments such as the oud, as well as Greek and Turkish versions of the dulcimer (i.e. Santouri and Qanún, respectively). 


Fantasia on the Dies Irae
Fantasia on the Dies Irae was born out of the great disappointment that I have felt throughout my life when witnessing first-hand various destructive activities in so many parts of the world. I have seen nations fight nations over material things, and in the process, destroy their own people out of uncontrolled greed and a sense of entitlement, until the very earth itself now seems to be at risk. I often reflect on concerns such as the fact that, in this day and age, there is still an undeveloped world on our vast planet and that the people living in these areas are dying of hunger. At the same time, wealthy countries still feel the need to horde their resources and protect themselves from each other by building nuclear weapons. How can this be? These and a number of related questions have led me to the view that mankind has reached a critical point in its history. I see both a new age of enlightenment and an ending to life as we have known it as possible outcomes for our future, depending upon the decisions humanity makes in the coming years. Similarly, my Fantasia on the Dies Irae is not a sonic representation of the iconic Day of Wrath doom; rather,it presents the musical theme known as the Dies Irae in “reprocessed” form so that familiar material is presented in a new light, offering new possibilities. 

...to a Galliform Marionette



...to a Galliform Marionette was written in response to a lucid dream in which I found myself engulfed in such an extreme state of solitude that the only possible means of communication with a living entity open to me was through building a marionette to be suspended at a human-height level. By working with wood, strings, and paint, my little creature slowly began to take form and come to life, looking more and more like a large domestic bird with colourful feathers and a jolting, loud voice, all the while remaining a marionette. After a short conversation with me, my mari- onette began making bird sounds and humming a melody reminiscent of the liturgical songs of Hildegard von Bingen, only in a much faster tempo. This rhapsody features bird calls much like those made by the marionette in my dream, married with playful gestures suggesting the music of a marionette show, and incorporates the melody hummed by my marionette as its central thematic material. 

Soul Ascending
Soul Ascending is my response to the powerful words of St. John Chrysostom, in his commentary on the ascension of the soul: “And so mounting as it were by steps, let us get to heaven by a Jacob’s ladder. For the ladder seems to me to signify in a riddle by that vision the gradual ascent by means of virtue, by which it is possible for us to ascend from earth to heaven, not using material steps, but improvement and correction of manners.” 
Life after death (whether an actual physical or transcendental phenomenon) versus the possibility of eternal oblivion, esotericism, and metaphysics in general, are subjects that have both perplexed and fascinated me for many years.
But the subject that has intrigued me and triggered my imagination the most relates to the state of the human soul immediately upon departing from its temporary fleshly home, along with the impact of the human journey just completed upon the soul’s post-life progress, if any. I have investigated the many views on these topics held by the ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, as well as the teachings of several religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. This study has not only inspired and influenced some of my musical work; it has also been instrumental in my personal spiritual journey. 

Soul Ascending depicts my impression of the experience when a soul leaves its flesh body and the material world behind at the moment of so-called “death” and is ascending Jacob’s ladder. This fantasia was heavily influenced by Egon Wellesz’s book A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography, as well as by an early 19th century painting by William Blake depicting this moment, which is now on display at the British Museum in London. 
The note C# , which I associate with life, vitality, energy, and the spirit, serves as a drone (or ison in Byzantine chant), with the melodic material woven around it in an ever-unfolding melisma. Several bass notes are depressed throughout the piece (using the sostenuto pedal), allowing a number of harmonics to sound constantly, thereby suggesting a space- reality of infinite proportions, one with endless potential for expansion. Toward the end of the ascension rite, a subtle switch to bitonality in the music suggests freedom and contentment as the soul separates from all earthy things and enters an eternal meta-state, one that is indescribable, if not inconceivable by human beings still living on the earthly plane. 

Κείμενο-Επιμέλεια Παρουσίασης: Αναστασία Τσαγκάρη

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