Phantom of the Dreams’ Origin
VII. Polyhedral Bell
VII. Spinning Mill of Nocturnal Repose
Phantom of the Dreams’ Origin is a new musical meditation on the poetry of Andreas Embirikos, in English translation by poets Stefene Russell and Chris King. The piece sets to music a selection of prose poems from Embirikos’ 1935 masterpiece Blast Furnace, which Nikos Stabakis translated into English in his anthology Surrealism in Greece (University of Texas Press, 2008).
Barbara Harbach’s new composition for chamber orchestra was commissioned by Poetry Scores, a St. Louis-based non-profit arts organization that translates poetry into other media. Barbara Harbach’s musical composition is divided into eight movements, each named after a phrase from Stabakis’ translation of Embirikos: I. Procession, II. Lamentation, III. Semaphores, IV. Desolation, V. Deprived, VI. Tranquility, VII. Polyhedral bell, VIII. Spinning Mill of Nocturnal Repose.
Befitting a musical meditation on a Mediterranean poem that often looks to its east, the flute and cello in one movement have complex Middle East rhythms, with various instruments contributing to those rhythms. The score is dramatically percussive throughout, with musical features calling for glockenspiel, castanets, triangle, bell tree, crotales, timpani and suspended cymbals.