About this Recording
8.570951 - MOUZAS: Music for an Imaginary Film / Prima Materia / Monologue / Thought Forms / Lucid Dream

Alexandros Mouzas (b. 1962)
Music for an Imaginary Film


Music for an Imaginary Film (1998/2004), by its very title, makes the composer’s intentions very clear, dictating a special response on the part of the listener. The musical form is transferred from the conventional internal organization of sound and themes to a broader structure made up of musical environments, which, through their succession, create an emotional charge gradually leading up to a climax. This climax is not always related to intensity or tempo, but is aimed at the listener’s powers of association and especially memory; this process has a cumulative effect, giving meaning to the contrasting elements and textures that alternate with each other. Once registered in the listener’s memory, this succession ‘colours’ the subsequent repetitions or variations with new messages. What we have here, in fact, is a reproduction of the function and practice of film music. The microstructures of this work have their own autonomy and internal organization. The first is atonal, with a virtuosic character on the part of the clarinet, the second is a dreamy setting created by the percussion and the piano, and the third, mainly dependent on the strings, is purely tonal, rhythmical and energetic.

Prima Materia (1996/2005) was commissioned by the Third Programme of Greek Radio. Influenced by the alchemist theories, I embarked on a series of compositions under the general title Prima Materia, as a record of the inner process of seeking the broader meaning of the concept ‘raw material’, the symbolic principle of unity that remains stable in the face of all change. Nigredo (Blackness): the symbolic death in the mystical initiation rituals. Albedo (Whiteness): from the darkness of the unconscious comes the light of illumination. The above and below are united resulting in a vibration of increased purity and strength. Rubedo (Redness): the rosy dawn that brightly announces the arrival of the sun and the brilliant light of a new day.

In the title of Monologue (2001/2005), a concerto for cor anglais, the term Monologue implies a work for a solo instrument. My intention in this piece was to write a concertante work where the solo line maintains an inner autonomy surrounded by orchestral sounds, thus creating various musical environments. The piece progresses from complex multi-textural layers to the simplicity of the linear individual monologue. This single-movement work can be divided in three parts. In the first part, the soloist participates as an equal member of the ensemble, playing thematic elements interwoven with the complex multitextural whole. A slow, lyrical horn solo leads to the next section as the orchestra now “touches”, and interacts with, the more predominant soloist. A virtuosic passage signals the start of the final section. The tempo increases and the fully independent solo horn line sharply contrasts with the ensemble in the true concertante manner. The work had its première on 7th February, 2001, at the Tsai Performance Center, Boston, by the ALEA III Orchestra under Theodore Antoniou.

The basic idea upon which Lucid Dream (2004) rests is related to the transformation of texture through the projection, by each musical environment, of the different elements that gradually or abruptly come to the surface and fade away. Rhythmical repetitive patterns on the one hand, and delicate harmonic formations on the other, constitute the two poles of attraction, which, in the quest for balance, produce plot and action. This work is dedicated to those who have been there.

Thought Forms (2002) is a study of the particularities and unique possibilities of the string ensemble. This work, within the framework of my constant pursuit of texture in a multi-level horizontal and vertical development, poses special technical problems and requires the musicians to act as soloists.

Alexandros Mouzas

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