A 14-minute interview was aired on Atlanta NPR affiliate station WABE-FM 90.1 featuirng myself and Dr. Jan Baker, Co-Artistic Director of Bent Frequency. We discuss the new music scne in Atlanta and preview all the offerings in the 2019 SoundNOW Contemporary Music Festival.
A preview of the 2019 SoundNOW Contemporary Music Festival was written by music critic Doug Deloach. Mr. Deloach writes, "In Atlanta these days, it seems you can hardly swing a stallion-hair cello bow around your head without hitting a chamber ensemble composer or member, or, go more than a few days without encountering a contemporary chamber music concert. The next few weeks are especially filled with examples of this welcome phenomenon, culminating in the 4th annual SoundNOW Festival, which runs April 7 through 13 at a variety of Atlanta venues. 'This music is happening all the time around town,' says Nickitas Demos, director of the School of Music at Georgia State University, artistic director of neoPhonia New Music Ensemble, and one of the founding organizers of SoundNOW. 'The purpose of the festival is to present a microcosm of the scene within a one-week period.' "The neoPhonia New Music Ensemble will be premiering SoundNOW organizer Demos’ Ithaca. Written for baritone and ensemble, the work is based on a poem published in 1911 by Constantine P. Cavafy. To translate the poem into English Demos relied on Dr. Gregory Jusdanis, director of Modern Greek Studies at Ohio State University. 'I wanted it to be in English,' Demos explains, 'because I want the audience to understand and follow the story, which boils down to the old adage about the journey being more important than the destination.'"
Preview article of a concert given by the NYC-based group, Unheard-of//Ensemble written by music critic Lauren Leathers. This concert is part of a Southeastern tour in support of the album release Unheard-of//Dialogues and features my work, Frontlash. Ms. Leathers writes, "This Friday, the Unheard-of//Ensemble returns to town as part of a Southern tour in support of Unheard-of//Dialogues, a powerfully evocative album that released in January. The album features works by eight different composers including Nickitas Demos, director of the School of Music at Georgia State University. The collaboration with Demos began in 2016, when the ensemble met him at Atlanta’s Mammal Gallery while performing on a shared bill with Chamber Cartel. Inspired by their meeting, the ensemble began tackling Demos’ “Frontlash,” one of his earliest works that ultimately acted as a catalyst for the debut album. 'Nick has been with us over this two-year process from the work’s premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2017 to the album release concert at Tenri Cultural Institute in Manhattan this [past] January,' clarinetist Ford Fourqurean says."
Ms. Leather continues with a review of the CD, Unheard-of//Dialogues: " 'The album presents a mosaic of different styles, opinions and stories, which showcase the fruitful and informative experiences from our past year’s touring,' Fourqurean says. A straight play-through of the album shows the technical and instrumental prowess of the ensemble, reaching full circle with “Frontlash” as the finale. The track confronts the seemingly impossible ability to escape the political turmoil that surrounds the White House, with a frontlash being defined as a counter-reaction to a political backlash. 'I mistakenly assumed that while a backlash was a strong public reaction against an event, a frontlash was a strong reaction against an event that had not yet occurred,' says Demos 'Both the true meaning of the word frontlash, as well as my initial misunderstanding of the term, seem to describe the current state of American society.' While each instrument receives a solo on the piece that bellows with hope, the individual sounds are abruptly interrupted, effectively reflecting the composer’s purpose of holding a mirror to the politics that drowns out singular voices amongst the noise."
New chamber works and innovative instruments on tap at GSU and Georgia Tech
Preview article of a concert given by the NYC-based group, Unheard-of//Ensemble written by music critic Doug Deloach. This concert is part of a Southeastern tour in support of the album release Unheard-of//Dialogues and features my work, Frontlash. Mr. Deloach writes,"Unheard-of//Dialogues features works by eight different composers including Nickitas Demos, director of the School of Music at Georgia State University. The ensemble and composer first met in 2016 when Unheard-of//Ensemble played a concert at Mammal Gallery on a bill with Atlanta-based Chamber Cartel. Inspired by the encounter, the ensemble commissioned Demos to write what became “Frontlash,” which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2017 and served as a catalyst for Unheard-of//Dialogues.
“During the writing of this piece, it was impossible to escape the seemingly unending turmoil surrounding the White House and a deeply troubling sense of chaos engulfing society,” says Demos. “As discourse gives way to virulent disagreement, backlashes, as well as angry reactions before any word or action occurs, become more prevalent.” Hence, the 21st-century phenomenon dubbed “frontlash.”
“Frontlash” gives each voice in the ensemble — clarinet, violin, cello, piano — a solo, but the solos are aggressively interrupted by the other three instruments before the soloist can fully articulate the idea. As the interruptions escalate in cacophonic intensity, traces of the original solo can be heard within the din. Eventually, though, discordance reigns supreme and the soloist is compelled to join the fray.
“I’m saddened when I hear musical ideas crushed, never to return in a small chamber piece,” Demos remarks. “How much more tragic is it for society when voices of reconciliation, understanding, empathy, and peace are shouted or beaten down and lost forever?”
A preview article written by music critic Doug Deloach highlighting events associated with the SoundNOW Festival. Mr. Deloach writes, “Breaking through “Heaven's Door” beckons adventurous listeners to SoundNOW 2018, the contemporary chamber music festival celebrating Atlanta’s wide-ranging and eclectic chamber scene. The six-day festival (April 8-13) features six ensembles performing a variety of works including three selections from Karlheinz Stockhausen's final cycle, Klang.“Our mission is to highlight Atlanta's great diversity of artists performing the music of our time,” says SoundNOW co-founder Nickitas Demos. A professor and director of Georgia State University’s Center for Collaborative & International Arts, Demos is also artistic director of the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble”
Preview of guitarist Luther Enloe's solo guitar recital:
"Composer Nickitas Demos also teaches at Georgia State and composed “Tonoi XI” for Enloe. The piece will be on Thursday’s program. Enloe says it is a very tocatta-like piece, meaning it is virtuosic, showing off the technique of the performer. Tocatta’s meaning is related to “touch.”
Demos is a clarinetist. Enloe said he worries about pieces for guitar written by non-guitarists. Without intimate knowledge of the guitar’s strengths and limitations, composers will often write music that does not flatter it or is even impossible to play. But Enloe was pleasantly surprised.
“A lot of it is surprisingly idiomatic,” Enloe said of “Tonoi XI.” He says one page of it was, in fact, unplayable at first, but a colleague suggested changing it to a slightly higher key. On guitar, what might seem like a small change, such as raising the music by a half step, can drastically change the movement and placement of the fingers. Enloe said it was the perfect solution, and now is one of his favorite things to play."
- Patrick McCurry
Classical Music Critic and Composer Mark Gresham recounts the top classical music events in Atlanta for the year. The festival I co-founded, SoundNOW is once again included in the list of notable events.
Article written by Doug Deloach previewing SoundNOW 2017 - Atlanta's Contemporary Music Festival. As a co-founder of the festival, I am quoted throughout.
Classical Music Critic and Composer Mark Gresham recounts the top classical music events in Atlanta for the year. The festival I co-founded, SoundNOW is included in the list of notable events.
I am cited as a co-founder of the SoundNOW Festival. The article gives a brief history on the development of the inaugural 2016 festival and previews all the concerts that comprise the week-long event.
Invited article published in the November-December 2014 issue of the Society of Composers, Inc. Newsletter. The article summarizes much of the content originally posted in a series of entries in my blog Greek & Composing concerning the 2014 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra labor dispute.
Preview of a Terminus Ensemble concert. My work, secret music, is one of the works programmed on the concert.
I am one of the signers of an open letter to the Woodruff Arts Center board in response to the lockout of Atlanta Symphony musicians.
I am mentioned in this audio feature from Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE-FM 90.1 about the Clibber Jones Commission Project.
A preview article highlighting the August 3, 2013 concert given by the Perimeter Flutes written by Mark Gresham. My work, "Chasing Time," commissioned by the Perimeter Flutes is mentioned.
I was featured on this site which profiles a different composer each each day. My composition, "Citizens of Nowhere" is also highlighted.
2013 marks 150 years since the noted poet Constantine P. Cavafy's birth and 80 years since his death.
The C.P. Cavafy Chair at the University of Michigan invited myself and other diaspora Greek intellectuals from around the world to participate in the celebration by writing for an online Forum. I contributed a short piece on "the meaning of Cavafy today" as it pertains to my work.
Click HERE to reach the Forum then click on to "Contributions" to read my brief reflection.
My neoPhonia New Music Ensemble concert is reviewed by Mark Gresham.
My work for the Atlanta Ballet, Pavo, is previewed.
I am featured in this article detailing Atlanta's contemporary music history.
I am profiled in the Georgia State University magazine.
Interview appearing in Atlanta's local composer blog!
My guest blog on NewMusicBox covering the 65th National Conference of the League of American Orchestras. Part 3 of 3
My guest blog on NewMusicBox covering the 65th National Conference of the League of American Orchestras. Part 2 of 3
My guest blog on NewMusicBox covering the 65th National Conference of the League of American Orchestras. Part 1 of 3