Chamber Music

While opera and art-song are the main focus of this company, Cult of Orpheus productions also include original instrumental chamber music, and in 2018 the scores of these pieces will be made available for the first time.

Give them space (for string quartet)

Written for the centennial of Portland’s Keller Auditorium, “Give them space” is inspired by the final lines of Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities:

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

The six-minute quartet unfolds in four sections, representing a move away from oppressive social dominance, through solitude and dialog, toward free collaboration.

Venus novena (for string quartet)

Featuring solo viola and emphasizing the sonority of the low strings, “Venus Novena” is a sensual call-to-prayer, written to accompany pole dance performance as prelude to the opera Viva’s Holiday.

Theban suite (for harp, flute, cello, and percussion)

This three-movement suite was written for the 2016 summer concert as a study of lyrical, modal material for the composer’s forthcoming opera Antigone and Haimon. The premiere included both percussion and dance performance by Portland-based fusion belly-dance group Baksana.

The three movements are:

  1. Seven Gates
  2. Sacred Dust
  3. Auguries of Tiresias