Nickitas Demos

Remnants From A Forty-Year Gig

Remnants From A Forty-Year Gig (2018)

Nickitas Demos

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Duration: 6 minutes

Dedicated to The Atlanta Chamber Players

This work is a companion piece to my piano trio, Centennial Sonneries. The trio was the 100th composition in my catalog and as such, its subject matter reminisced about personal events in my life. I found myself still reminiscing in this short trio, scored for flute, Bb clarinet, and cello written immediately after completeion of the piano trio. 

While my primary work as a creative artist is as a composer, I have also been a very active performer. I began working professionally as a musician in 1977. The vast majority of my performing life has been devoted to playing in Greek dance bands primarily as a clarinetist as well as a keyboardist. I have performed at Greek Festivals, wedding receptions, baptism receptions, church dances, gala dinners, conferences, in clubs, and in concerts throughout the southeastern United States and as far north as Cleveland, OH and as far west as Dallas TX for the past 40 years. While I’m not ready to give up performing completely, forty years is certainly a big enough, and round enough, number to pause and look back over a rewarding career.

This is a composition that also celebrates Greek folk music and especially Greek folk dances. Within the brief confines of this piece, I do not overtly quote any Greek folk tunes. Rather, I focus on the rhythms associated with two of my favorite Greek folk dances: the kalamatiano (a dance from the Peloponnesian region of Greece characterized by a 7/8 meter) and the tsamiko (a dance from the northern region of Greece characterized by a 3/4 meter with emphasis on beats 1 and 3).

In trying to capture good memories of my life on the road, the music is bright and carefree throughout with hints of Greek scales lightly surfacing from time to time. While abstracted, the dance rhythms are clearly evident as is, I hope, my love for Greek folk music and dance.