Nickitas Demos

String Theories



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String Theories (2007)

Nickitas Demos

I. preverberations... - score preview

II. the rain cannot wash everything away... - score preview

III. songs I sing when no one is looking... - score preview

Stream movement III in its entirety on ReverbNation

Duration: 16'

The term “String Theory” carries grand connotations. In science, it refers to a concept that seeks to provide a complete, unified and consistent description of the fundamental structure of the universe. All the fundamental particles of the Standard Model of particle physics are seen to be manifestations of one basic object – a string.

When I first began thinking about a piece for the ensemble, Duo Luniaire (John Huston, guitar and Danijela Zezelj-Gualdi, violin), the term “String Theory” quickly came to mind. While I was not interested in representing theories of particle physics musically, the idea of a grand connotation connected with the term was something I wanted to explore. Instead of theoretical strings floating in space time, I began to think of the human experience as measured by our mortality; our existence through a time span. The concept of Time is one I have returned to in several pieces. In this particular composition, a more intimate contemplation of time is explored. 

Essentially, the human condition may be measured in the remembrance of past events, the expectation of future events and the experience of the present moment. While there is an objective chronological progression to our lives, we may nevertheless spend “time” in one of these conditions: the future, the past or the present. Each of the movements of this work contemplates one of these states.

The first movement, preverberations, takes its name from an article written by journalist, Bruce Meyerson. Writing for the A.P. on March 26, 2007, Meyerson’s article outlined the impending release of a new mobile phone by Apple, Inc. For me, the palpable anticipation and speculation about this device became a metaphor for the individual living in the future. The music is very nervous and unsettled in character. It seeks to describe an anxious state – of trying to peer where we are simply unable to go; the future. 

The second movement, the rain cannot wash everything away…, concerns itself with the past. In particular, I was moved by violinist Danijela Zezelj-Gualdi’s experiences in war torn Serbia. Though we may flee from physical environments, the powerful memories of our past experiences inevitably are carried with us. The music in this movement is at times wistful and at other times, highly emotional.

Finally, the third movement, songs I sing when no one is looking, contains the most energetic and optimistic music of the set. It is a celebration of the present moment. The only moment we truly own and dwell in.