Friday, January 15, 2010

Svitlana Azarova is a Ukrainian/Dutch composer, whose music, in the words of Frans Waltmans, " . . . is highly inspired by spiritual and philosophical issues. Sometimes a picture or an incident can inspire her to write a composition. Her pieces, imbued with Slavic soul, are composed in western contemporary fashion, and although rarely minimalistic, she believes that music allows for the best meditation." Watch a performance of her Outvoice, Outstep and Outwalk (2004) by bass clarinetist Stephan Vermeersch . . . one of this week's FEATURED NEW MUSIC VIDEOS.

Greek composer Alexandros Mouzas studied composition with Theodoros Antoniou, advanced theory with Haris Xanthoudakis and electronic music with Dimitris Kamarotos. Trisha Never Left Home (1999), commissioned by the Athens Concert Hall, is a ballet collaboration with choreographer Konstantinos Michos and the Lathos Kinissi Dance Group. Hear two excerpts from the ballet, Toy and Tango . . . this week's PYTHEAS EARFUL.

Seóirse Bodley is one the most important Irish composers of the older generation and was probably, in the 1960s and 1970s, the most modern voice sounding from Ireland. From three visits to the famous summer courses of new music at Darmstadt (1963-65) he returned to Ireland with an awareness of modern continental trends in music which resulted in many pieces of great complexity. From 1972 he combined these modern influences with elements from Irish traditional music, producing a highly original music of contrasts. His works from the early 1980s return to a more simple language maintaining many qualities of his earlier styles in more subtle reflections. Bodley's case is certainly one of an often misunderstood and, today, far too little recorded composer. Hear Seóirse Bodley talk about his music . . . this week's COMPOSER PORTRAIT.

In 1967, Steve Reich composed Piano Phase, a work for two pianos. It was Reich's first attempt at applying phasing technique to live performance. The two pianists play a rapid twelve-note melodic figure over and over again in unison. As one player precisely keeps the tempo, the other speeds up very slightly until the two parts line up again, but one sixteenth note apart. The second player then resumes the previous tempo. This cycle of speeding up and then locking in continues throughout the piece; the cycle comes full circle three times, the second and third cycles using shorter versions of the initial figure. Watch an unique performance of Piano Phase by pianist Peter Aidu playing 2 pianos! . . . this week's FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES.

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst
Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music


  1. Excellent composition by Svitlana Azarova. Stephan Vermeersch really shows this piece off!
    Thanks for featuring it.

  2. Thanks for joining in the conversation. And welcome to Pytheas!