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Blue Work


Abhisheka

for string quartet

Year:  1996   ·  Duration:  8m

Year:  1996
Duration:  8m

Composer:   John Psathas

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John Psathas, RNZB: Abhish...

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John Psathas, RNZB: Abhishe...

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John Psathas, RNZB: Abhishe...

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John Psathas, RNZB: Abhishe...

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John Psathas: Abhisheka; vi...

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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 8-9

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About

“The sanskrit equivalent for initiation is abhisheka, meaning ‘sprinkle’, ‘pour’, ‘anointment’. And if there is pouring, there must be a vessel into which the pouring can fall. So at last we might really give up all these complications and just allow some space, just give in. This is the moment when abhisheka – sprinkling and pouring – really takes place, because we are open and are really giving up the whole attempt to do anything, giving up all the busyness and overcrowding. Finally we have been forced to really stop properly, which is quite a rare occurrence for us.”

(Taken from Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, from album Nederlands Blazers Ensemble: Zeibekiko, NBECD014).

The composer writes: ”Drafted immediately after reading a book by the Buddhist guru Chögyam Trungpa, Abhisheka was my first-ever attempt at writing music with space in it. Until this piece, practically everything I had written was ultra-caffeinated, fast, full of notes, and murder on performers. But having been (albeit temporarily) inspired by the great truths and peace in Trungpa’s writing, I found myself navigating slower passages of musical time, as well as exploring the microcosm of inner space between the even intervals of our chromatic tuning system.”

Abhisheka by John Psathas was chosen for the list of string quartets in 2000 for ‘IAMIC Sounds of the Year’. The composer has also prepared versions of Abhisheka for mixed chamber ensemble, this version performed by Manos Achalinotopoulos, Vangelis Karipis and Nederlands Blazers Ensemble at Paradiso, in Amsterdam in 2004, and for string orchestra (2008).

Programme note from the New Zealand String Quartet's 2012 New Zealand at Kings Place concert.


Contents note

single movement


Performance history

23 Aug 1998: Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet in Nelson

14 Feb 2008: Red: Auckland 1

15 Feb 2008: Red: Auckland 2

16 Feb 2008: Red: Auckland 3

17 Feb 2008: Red: Auckland 4

20 Feb 2008: Red: Hastings 1

21 Feb 2008: Red: Hastings 2

24 Feb 2008: Red: New Plymouth

28 Feb 2008: Red: Palmerston North 1

29 Feb 2008: Red: Palmerston North 2

04 Mar 2008: Red: Invercargill

07 Mar 2008: Red: Dunedin 1

08 Mar 2008: Red: Dunedin 2

12 Mar 2008: Red: Christchurch 1

13 Mar 2008: Red: Christchurch 2

14 Mar 2008: Red: Christchurch 3

15 Mar 2008: Red: Christchurch 4

19 Mar 2008: Red: Wellington 1

20 Mar 2008: Red: Wellington 2

28 Sep 2008: The Man from Olympus

26 May 2009: Composer of the Week: John Psathas: Tuesday
Featuring: Radio New Zealand Concert

16 Jun 2009: Contemporary Visions 24

13 Nov 2009: NZSQ: ... Cultural Property

31 Mar 2012: Spiritual Journeys: New Zealand String Quartet

17 Apr 2012: New Zealand in L.A.

09 Feb 2013: Adam Chamber Music Festival - Grand Finale

02 Sep 2014: Faust Quartet | Masterworks from the heart (Lower Hutt)

04 Sep 2014: Faust Quartet | Masterworks from the heart (Motueka)

05 Sep 2014: Faust Quartet | Masterworks from the heart (Blenheim)

07 Sep 2014: Faust Quartet | Masterworks from the heart (Wanganui)


Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet in 1999 in Adam Concert Room, Victoria University in Wellington

Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet

Performed by Royal New Zealand Ballet as part of the Red tour, choreographed by Adrian Burnett, designed by Tracy Grant Lord, and the performance used the recording of Abhisheka performed by the New Zealand String Quartet in 1999 from album, _Rhythm Spike_ (Rattle Records)

Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet at Adam Concert Room, Victoria University, Wellington, in November, 2009

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