Nickitas Demos

Slaves To Passion



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    Slaves To Passion_excerpt

Slaves To Passion (2003)

Nickitas Demos

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Duration: 10'

Commissioned by Bent Frequency

Grand Prize Winner in the 2004 Millennium Arts Society International Competition for Composers 

Slaves To Passion is a work that grew out of a phrase in a prayer by St. Basil The Great. The prayer, a preparation before receiving the Holy Eucharist, contains the following passage: “…even I, a wretched sinner, who had given myself over to every evil desire, despair not of salvation, though I have been wholly subject to sin, a slave to passion…”

This prayer has always called me to think about the various forms of the human passions. Clearly, the prayer refers to those passions that are harmful to the human condition. However, the term “passion” may also have a more positive connotation: the strong desire to follow a positive calling in life, or the devotion to loved ones.  This piece, therefore, deals with the various forms and meanings of the term “Passion.” The music itself reflects these disparate ideas through the infusion of eclectic musical styles (heavy metal, Greek Folk music, funk and Byzantine Chant among others). The entire piece is bound together by an ancient hymn chanted on Good Friday within the Greek Orthodox Church in remembrance of the Passion of Christ. It is this hymn and its subject that, for me anyway, put into a meaningful context all the varying meanings of “Passion.”