Nickitas Demos

passing vanities...



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    passing vanities_excerpt

passing vanities... (2008)

Nickitas Demos

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Duration: 8'

Commissioned by Sonic Generator

The ancient Church Fathers often speak of the stages an individual must pass through to engage in sin. Typically, the pattern follows the following form: an inappropriate thought randomly occurs to a person, the individual then holds on to the thought and contemplates it, finally, the thought is acted upon. I have always found it interesting to note that simply having the thoughts or impulses is not the root cause of behavior contrary to the Will of God. It is what we do with the thoughts that is of paramount concern.

Within the brief confines of this work, I was interested in exploring the first and second stages described above. The music is filled with rapid passages that continually assail the listener. Both the acoustic instruments (representing, for me, the individual) and the DJ (representing outside forces) fall in and out of passing impulses and thoughts. Some of these passages are abandoned but others are developed in much the same manner a person might entertain a passing idea. The title of the work is a paraphrase from an Orthodox Christian prayer offered daily at the Ninth Hour (that is, 3:00 PM in the daily cycle of prayers). The prayer, in part, reads: “…In Your incomparable mercy, spare us; for Your name’s sake, save us. Though we have spent our days in vanities of every sort, snatch us out of the hands of our foe and forgive us our sins…”