8 spatialized French horns and gongs

«With Stasis, I tried to write a piece that opens a space in which there is no more time, a space that offers the possibility of perceiving, in the larger sense, of what is being produced.» The title Stasis, a word originating from ancient Greek that can be translated by «stop» or «period without change», references what will be offered to the public: a contemplation of, an intense concentration on the here and now, on the surrounding (acoustical) space.

Samy Moussa drew his inspiration from elements of different cultures. Among these is the shofar, a ritual instrument used in the Jewish liturgy on the occasion of important religious festivals. The composer was also fascinated by the manuscript of a score from Tibetan music, discovered by chance when he had already begun the composition of Stasis. In this case, it was the visual and not the acoustical aspect that interested him: «My inspiration is rarely of extra-musical origin, but in this case, this score stimulated me in a more concrete manner, profoundly touching me with its beauty. Without knowing what it really meant, and without having the slightest idea of its acoustical result, this manuscript spoke to me».

Stasis was ordered by Bayerische Staatsoper (State Opera of Bavaria) for the Munich ensemble Opera Horns, their horn section. It benefitted from the generous support of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising and from Freunde des Nationaltheaters. Its first performances took place in the framework of the Festspiel-Gottesdienst (Religious Agency of the Opera Festival of Munich, June 2018), and during a concert — during the same festival — with the Orchesterakademie and the Munich Opera Horns under the direction of Samy Moussa.

[English translation: Oliver Haeffly, ii-19]

Performance

  • [Image: Geneviève Bigué]
    Thursday, February 21, 2019

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