Distillation of the Night (2007)

for 'cello, viola, piano, violin, clarinet
By Stratis Minakakis
Greek/active America

In Aristophanes’ Birds, Night is described as one of the principle agents of creation. She laid and hatched the egg of Eros, who possesses the ability to allow different elements to mix, thus creating the generation of Gods and the Universe. Aristophanes’ recounting of this story serves as a metaphor for the form and content of ’ΝΥΚΤΟΣ ΔΙΥΛΙΣΗ’ (Distillation of the Night). The dense, explosive web of lines and surfaces at the beginning undergoes a process of continuing transformations that eventually deconstructs the piece to its very basic constituent elements. In contradistinction with traditional depictions of the nocturnal in music, the image of Night presented in this piece is one of primeval force and vibrant energy.

Other works by Stratis Minakakis:
“Once when father (George Ives) was asked: 'How can you stand it to hear old John Bell (who was the best stonemason in town) bellow off-key the way he does at camp-meetings?' his answer was: 'Old John is a supreme musician. Look into his face and hear the music of the ages. Don't pay too much attention to the sounds. If you do, you may miss the music. You won't get a heroic ride to Heaven on pretty little sounds!'”
--Charles Ives