for ensemble · 2017
“Barley porridge, or a crust of barley bread, and water do not make a very cheerful diet, but nothing gives one keener pleasure than the ability to derive pleasure even from that.”
Commissioned by Impuls Festival
Premiere: Helmut List Halle, Graz · 10 February 2017
video with score follower
fixed media 120 whistling tracks · 2016
120 whistling microtonal pitches, in a range of 2½ octaves
Composed for the Audio-DH project, curated by Francisco López.
Michalis Paraskakis · whistling
Recorded with a zoom in my apartment
Athens · 24 May 2016
CORTEX · ΦΛΟΙΟΣ
for piano solo · 2015-16
While composing Cortex I found an article about the lateral intraparietal cortex of the brain, that is responsible for our perception of time, allowing us to play an instrument or regulating the ability of speaking.
I regarded "cortex" then the appropriate title for the piece, as it's based on the rapid changes of a melody's rhythms. The axis of the piece, this melody, is moving constantly fast, with small deviation of its rhythmic units, giving the impression of changing speeds.
The monolithic form of the piece, the rapid movement without resting, without breathing, is transforming it in chase for both the player and the listener.
Katerina Konstantourou · piano
Recorded live in Panteios Aula
Athens · 24 May 2016
SKOSTOK · ΣΧΟΣΤΟΚΗΣ
for ensemble · 2015
Skostok is the name of an ancient king of the Odrysians.
We know he existed only from a few brass coins with laureate Apollo
and an equestrian with the inscription 'SKOSTOK'.
Gregory Charette · conductor
Recorded live in Muziekgebouw aan 't Ij
Amsterdam · 12 February 2015
for ensemble · 2014
Frequency beating obscures clean, transparent melodies and insisting chords. In contrast to the static drone beatings of Terpnon, here the beatings emerge from moving melodies and harmonies, creating blurred contours and distortions to a familiar shape, as if you are looking through
a frosted glass, a kind of sonic "polution" on the clarity of the melodic
and formal structures.
Bas Wiegers · conductor
Recorded live in Bernard Haitingzaal
Conservatorium van Amsterdam · 14 April 2014
for positive organ and 5 performers · 2013
Terpnon means delightful. Maybe it sounds ironic, since the piece's main element is frequency beating, a phenomenon usually unwanted and considered annoying. But it is a sincere title, for frequency beating is a really delightful and addictive sound phenomenon. piece for the positive organ,
it takes advantage of the instrument's ability to fine-tune the pipes, creating extremely subtle and controlled differences to the beating speeds.
In unisons, clusters, closed and open chords, the beating layers, juxtaposed on top of each other, create a frequency beating 'polyphony' and at the same time the different lead to complex polyrhythmic patterns.
This static but active sonic world has an inevitable ceremonial quality, helped by simple but important staging instructions; The instrument is with its keyboard towards the audience, hiding the complex tubing system inside it. While the keyboardist is holding down the keys, the tuners are sitting
in dark, far behind the instrument. They come forward to the light when
they need to play, in solemn silence and bend over the instrument as if it is
a sacred object. They go back to darkness when the stop.
Vladan Kulisic · Tuner 1
Eugene A. Kim · Tuner 2
Assaf Gidron · Tuner 3
Noah Rektenwald · Tuner 4
Michalis Paraskakis · Keyboard
Recorded live during the Spring Festival 2013
Royal Conservatory of The Hague · 10 April 2013
video with score follower
video of the performance
NOT YET II
for clarinet and string quintet · 2012/14
Not Yet II is a re-composed version of its first electronic version. The cold precision of the sinewaves is transformed to a warm, somnolent, seductive fluid, in which the clarinet is a soloist always moving in the shadow of the rest.
Momenta Quartet and friends:
Christa Van Alstine · clarinet
Emilie-Anne Gendron, Adda Kridler · violins
Stephanie Griffin · viola
Michael Haas · violoncello
Matthew Weber · double bass
Carl Cristian Bettendorf · conductor
16 April 2015 · The Kitchen · MATA Festival New York
NOT YET I
for clarinet and 6 sinewaves · 2012
3 pairs of sinewaves. Each pair is playing one pitch, but not in unison – each pitch
is moving microtonaly around its center creating frequency beating - “imperfect" unisons that shape a constantly fluctuating chord. The clarinet is picking pitches
from the sinewaves, picking a melody out of the pattern. But it can't be as accurate and cold as the sinwaves. Until it decides to move independently.
Enric Sans i Morera · clarinet
Michalis Paraskakis · sinewaves
Recorded in my room · May 2012