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Ithaka Orchestral Project

Premiere details

Wed August 22nd 7:30pm, Melbourne Town Hall, Fabian Russell cond. Entry free

Ithaka Orchestral Project

Ithaka is an island, a poem and a destination

As the fabled Greek homeland of Odysseus, hero of Homer's "Odyssey", the island kingdom sparkled like a mythical jewel in the Ionian Sea for centuries. The Ithakans were navigators, soldiers and artists to rival the best the Mycenaean world had to offer. The allure of this fabulous past inspired the modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy to pen his now-famous work, which reads as though offering advice to a young traveler about to set sail

"As you set out for Ithaka, hope the journey is a long one," the poem begins. "Full of adventure, full of discovery."

"Ithaka" is my most recent piece of orchestral music, and it is designed to be both the journey and the destination depicted in Cavafy's poem. It is a musical melting pot, infusing classical form with contemporary harmony and techno rhythms: late-Romantic leitmotivs exist alongside drum grooves, violins play alongside synthesizers, whatever it takes to reach our final destination. There are no ancient Mycenaean warriors here, no Poseidon or one-eyed monsters; just a musical odyssey the listener can take from one era to another

Odysseus' journey lasted twenty years, but this journey is over in less than twenty minutes. And as Constantine Cavafy wrote, hopefully by the end "you will have become so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean."

The changeover passage between halves of the piece, from a harp solo to the intro to the second half
A passage later on, developing several different ideas.
Prominent synth part