voice and processing
Premiere: March 2, 2019, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2019: La Grande Nuit, Agora Hydro-Québec — Cœur des sciences — UQAM, Montréal (Québec)
Central to this composition are excerpts from Pericles’ Funeral Oration (431 BC) from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War in the translation by Benjamin Jowett, Oxford 1881. In his speech, Pericles mourns the fallen soldiers in the early battles with Sparta and takes the opportunity to address the fact that we cannot take democracy for granted, that we need to remind ourselves to protect it and, if necessary, defend it by force.
The performer has been given much freedom in interpreting the ancient Greek text, which is generally considered amongst scholars to be one of the most ingenious and complex masterpieces of Hellenistic rhetoric. To maximize its dramatic effect and to distill and transcode its powerful meaning to today’s situation, the narrator’s voice is digitally processed in Realtime against an eerie audio backdrop consisting of the sounds of a wind-swept Peloponnesus, sheep bells and rapid machine gun fire.
The development of Parrhesia was made possible with support from FPK (Performing Arts Fund, NL). Special thanks to dr. Machiel Keestra (philosopher and Assistant Professor at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam).
Saturday, March 2, 2019