4 years ago

The Isle Is Full of Noises (Preview)

by Christos Hatzis | Orchestra

promoted Inuit culture

promoted Inuit culture around the globe. His strongest inspiration is his own religious faith, and his religious works have been hailed by critics and audiences alike as contemporary masterpieces. In addition to composing and teaching, Hatzis has written extensively about composition and contemporary music. His writings have been published on Interface, Organized Sound and Harmony, are increasingly translated into other languages and are frequently listed as required reading for music courses in tertiary educational institutions. Two of Hatzis’s works – String Quartet No.1: The Awakening (PE117) and Constantinople – have earned him Juno Awards for Classical Composition of the Year (2006 and 2008, respectively) by a Canadian composer. In 2008 Hatzis also received the Jan Matejcek Concert Music Award, awarded to the most performed and broadcast Canadian composer of the year. In 2010 Hatzis was commissioned by virtuoso violinist Hilary Hahn to write a new work for violin and piano. The resulting work, Coming To (PE119), appears on Hahn’s album In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, which went on to win the 2015 Grammy Award for Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance. A second commission from Hahn soon followed, with Hatzis writing the hyper-virtuosic Dystopia (PE121) for solo violin. In 2013 the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra commissioned Hatzis to score a major new ballet work, Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. Hatzis collaborated with award-winning aboriginal throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers in creating the score for the groundbreaking production. The ballet’s subject matter is close to the composer’s heart as it confronts the impact of the residential school system on Canada’s aboriginal young people. Upon premiering in October of 2014, Going Home Star received critical acclaim. Most of Hatzis’ writings and other information about the composer can be found at PE120 – iv

The Isle Is Full of Noises (2013) The Isle Is Full of Noises was commissioned by l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for a programme consisting of compositions inspired by William Shakespeare. I chose to base mine on The Tempest, particularly on two memorable excerpts, one by Prospero: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” (Act 4, Scene 1) and the following excerpt by Caliban: “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that vie delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices, That if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again, and then in dreaming The clouds methought would open, and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked I cried to dream again.” (Act 3, Scene 2) In The Tempest, both Prospero and Caliban view reality as dream-like. Their island is a magical place, its “reality” shaped and determined by human will — Prospero’s, rather than natural law. Caliban, a rebellious and conceited creature, is promoting this reality to the unsuspecting newcomers, hoping to usurp Prospero’s magic and power through them. It is not surprising that, in Christian Europe of Shakespeare’s time, Caliban’s character became associated with the serpentine deceiver of the Biblical Eden allegory, who also sought to corrupt the first humans by enticing them with the power of the forbidden fruit, in spite of God’s explicit instructions to the contrary (Prospero’s character has many features in common with the Elizabethan concept of God.) It is this Biblical connection with the “isle, full of noises” that inspired me to compose this work. The Eden allegory has been a subject that I continue exploring musically and psychologically in a number of recent works. At variance with current scientific orthodoxy, PE120 – v

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