ANER GAR OU STENAKTOS
For soprano who also plays percussion
Aner Gar Ou Stenaktos B’ is the second setting of an excerpt from Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus. In the Sophoclean passage, the messenger has just witnessed the miraculous passing of Oedipus, who, absolved of his sins, entered Hades with the honors of a god. Utterly awed by the incident, the messenger rushes to the Athenians to describe what took place. Aner Gar Ou Stenaktos B’ depicts a bewildered messenger who is struggling to articulate the extraordinary event that transpired to a disbelieving audience. The dramatic trajectory of the piece follows a psychological evolution from a state of fear to a state of awe: in the first three short movements (Dromoi I-III) the text is shattered to small shards, presented out of order by a seemingly panicked messenger; in the final extended movement (Dromos IV) the text is restored to its original form, discontinuity giving way to continuity, fear transforming to awe. The dramaturgy of the work is intimately related to the physicality of the writing for the performer, which combines an extended repertory of vocal gestures (breathing, whispering, shouting, etc.) with manual gestures on percussion instruments (striking, scratching, rubbing, etc.).
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