Films, Audio & Samples
John Psathas: A Cool Wind; ...External video
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'This musical supplication is inspired partly by the playing of world-renowned duduk player Djivan Gasparyan. It is a plea for a balm, a cool wind, to ease anguish and torment.'
- John Psathas, note on the score of A Cool Wind.
In my past experiences collaborating with master folk musicians in Greece, I repeatedly came across the same answer when querying them on their ultimate aim when performing; namely that what they try to do is emulate the human voice, whatever the instrument they happen to be playing (even percussionists!) I think the inspiration behind this concept is one of eliminating the barrier between the impulse and the sound, to remove the instrument from the equation and - in the way of singing - articulate spontaneously. The duduk is one of the most remarkably voice-like instruments I have ever heard, and it is this quality which inspired me when writing.
The title page refers to this piece as a supplication, and this is the best description of the overlapping inner parts that grow out of the opening few measures.
Commissioned for the Takacs Quartet by Chamber Music New Zealand
23 Jul 2008: Takacs Quartet: Auckland
24 Jul 2008: Takacs Quartet: Wellington
26 Jul 2008: Takacs Quartet: Christchurch
14 Mar 2010: Takacs Quartet: Louisville
15 Mar 2010: Takacs Quartet: Ann Arbor
18 Mar 2010: Takacs Quartet: Oberlin
14 Apr 2010: Takacs Quartet: Middlebury
18 Apr 2010: Takacs Quartet: New York
20 Apr 2010: Takacs Quartet: Buffalo
21 Apr 2010: Takacs Quartet: Indianapolis
26 Jun 2011: Intimate Voices - Felix the Quartet
26 Oct 2011: Intimate Voices - Felix the Quartet (Rotorua)