for flute clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano and percussion. 1989. Commissioned by the Athens Festival '89. 10 minutes. No longer available for performance.

Structurally Prisma is a sequence of sound textures which explore the harmonic spectrum of an ideal pitched sound, namely the fundamental and its overtones. Like in fractals, these textures display self-similarity at various scales of perception: within the pitched sound and at the levels of harmony and rhythm. In several sections of the piece the rhythmic structure is an exact enlargement of harmony and an even bigger enlargement of timbre. To accomplish this self similarity convincingly, the performers are occasionally asked to deviate from the equal temperament system of intonation and to play microtonally. Inserted between these static textures are other, freely moving ones which serve as passageways connecting the various chambers and antechambers of the piece.

Prisma is dedicated to my friend and mentor John Papaioannou, an architect, musicologist and pianist who has done more than anyone in Greece for the promotion and dissemination of contemporary music in that country and around the globe.

Premiere performance: July 29, 1989 by the Arraymusic ensemble at the Athens Festival '89, Theater of Lycabettus, Athens, Greece.


[Prisma is] a wonderful work with vivid elements of musical impressionism.

George B. Monemvasitis, ELEFTHEROTYPIA (Greece)

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