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Mal Occhio, the evil eye, is the ancient belief that the gaze of strangers casts unwanted magic into the lives of the innocent. The belief is that a person - otherwise not malefic in any way - can harm you, your children, your livestock, by looking at them with envy and raising them. When I spent time in Greece one summer, my family and I experienced such a remarkable sequence of bad luck, that some of those around us became convinced we had fallen under the influence of the evil eye, or mal occhio. When my sister had us tested (over the telephone...) by the local specialist in these matters, it was discovered that I was so utterly hexed my aura was opaque. This piece is dedicated to my sister Tania, who tried in her own way to protect her kid brother from evil eye.
Commissioned by Fabrizio Festa of the Auranova Quartet for performance at the festival "La Music in Scena" in Bologna, Italy
Dedicated to Tania
10 Jul 2003: Performed by the Auranova Quartet at the festival "La Music in Scena"; Palazzo Stella, Crespellano, Bologna, Italy
25 Apr 2004: Performed by Manos Achalinotopoulos, Vangelis Karipis and Nederlands Blazers Ensemble at Paradiso, in Amsterdam
05 May 2005: Performed by New Ear Contemporary Ensemble; St Mary's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, USA
27 Mar 2009: Performed by Flexible Music at Tenri Cultural Institute in New York, United States of America
28 May 2009: Composer of the Week: John Psathas: Thursday
Featuring: Radio New Zealand Concert