Threnos, op. 7 is a composition for soprano coloratura, flute (both alto flute and piccolo flute), and electronic tape (1997).
Lyrics: excerpts from "Antigone" by Sophocles.
Duration: 8 minutes.
Emily Truckenbrod, soprano; Heather Webb, flute.
Voice samples: Karin Lane.
World premiere: "New Works from the Electronic Studios Concert", Clapp Recital Hall, The University of Iowa School of Music, Iowa City, IA, May 6, 1997.
Threnos is a setting of the lament in Sophocles’ tragedy “Antigone” as the heroine is about to enter her death chamber.
The foreshadowing of Antigone’s tragic destiny by the Chorus evoked in me a sense of irrationality which I have tried to capture by using Karin Laine’s voice to produce an electronic Chorus. Parallel to this Chorus, I have produced a group (on tape) of female mourners, using samples of my own voice as well.
The flute represents the Siren’s song while the percussive sounds represent the cult of Dionysus, the god of unreasoning forces.
Note: Sirens were first used as a group of singers by Persephone, later Queen of the Underworld.
ΠΟΛΛΑ ΤΑ ΔΕΙΝΑ ΚΟΥΔΕΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ ΔΕΙΝΟΤΕΡΟΝ ΠΕΛΕΙ ΤΟΥΤΟ ΚΑΙ ΠΟΛΙΟΥ ΠΕΡΑΝ ΠΟΝΤΟΥ ΧΕΙΜΕΡΙΩ ΝΟΤΩ ΧΩΡΕΙ ΠΕΡΙΒΡΥΧΙΟΙΣΙΝ ΠΕΡΩΝ ΥΠ ΟΙΔΜΑΣΙΝ ΘΕΩΝ ΤΕ ΤΑΝ ΥΠΕΡΤΑΤΑΝ ΓΑΝ ΑΦΘΙΤΟΝ ΑΚΑΜΑΤΑΝ ΑΠΟΤΡΥΕΤΑΙ.
Ω ΤΥΜΒΟΣ Ω ΝΥΜΦΕΙΟΝ Ω ΚΑΤΑΣΚΑΦΗΣ ΟΙΚΗΣΙΣ ΑΕΙΦΡΟΥΡΟΣ ΟΙ ΠΟΡΕΥΟΜΑΙ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΕΜΑΥΤΗΣ...
ΑΚΛΑΥΤΟΣ ΑΦΙΛΟΣ ΑΝΥΜΕΝΑΙΟΣ ΤΑΛΑΙΦΡΩΝ ΑΓΟΜΑΙ ΤΑΝΔ ΕΤΟΙΜΑΝ ΟΔΟΝ.
There are many wonders, but none more wonderful than man. For he crosses the foaming sea under stormy winds, by moving through dangerous waves. And earth, the immortal and oldest of all gods, he wears away.
Oh tomb, oh bridal chamber, oh hollow eternal prison of mine, where I go to join my kindred...
Without mourning, without friends,without marriage songs I am led, the miserable, on this journey that has been set for me.
The recording of Threnos was done during the live performance of the work at its world premiere, as stated above.