Writings by and/or about Christos Hatzis
posted on the world wide web
or published in print
Christos Hatzis: Music for God's Sake. 2004.
This essay discusses the author's spiritual underpinnings of his most recent music. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
REDEMPTION (Project Description). 2009—ongoing.
This detailed project description of Christos Hatzis' pentalogy titled REDEMPTION is still in development. Check the update date at the top of the document to ensure that you have up-to-date information about this project. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
The Crucible of Contemporary Music:
Community Building Through Art Music. 2008.
Composer Christos Hatzis’ commitment to social change through music has been long-standing. Earlier works (and writings about these works) approach musical structure as a metaphor for social and psychological processes that can be understood instinctively by listeners with no particular musical training or other educational prerequisites. His recent work aims to take art music out of its traditional habitat of social, economic and educational privilege and actively engage the underprivileged members of our society. In the process, classical music taboos are discarded, perceptions of social legitimacy are reevaluated and borders are crossed. Hatzis’ musical activism stems from his own religious faith and his view of the artist’s social role as an imperfect “imitator of Christ”. Keynote address delivered at the Verge Arts Conference “The Arts and Community” October 16 -18 2008. The Verge Arts Series is an initiative of the Faculty of Professional Studies and Performing Arts at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
Χοάνη της Σύγχρονης Μουσικής. Κοινωνική Αλλαγή Μέσω της Μουσικής Τέχνης
(The Crucible of Contemporary Music:
Community Building Through Art Music). 2009.
Translation from English to Greek by Constantine Caravassilis.
"Tongues of Fire": Allegory as a
Morphological Element in Composition. (In Greek) 2007.
This essay discusses the author's 2007 composition Tongues of Fire for percussion and Orchestra in connection with his religious faith and his use of allegory as a structural element in musical composition. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format (formatted for A4 size paper).
Byzantine, Early Christian and Esoteric
Influences in my Compositions (The Troparion of Kassiani). 2006
This essay discusses the author's personal meditations on the principal characters of the Christian drama as they emerge from a number of unconventional witnesses (principally the American prophet Edgar Cayce) and he incfulence these meditations had and continue to have on the author's more recent compositions. Lecture delivered on October 24 2006 in Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto as the inaugural address of a series of events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Malcove Collection of Byzantine Artifacts at the Art Centre, University of Toronto. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
"The Idea of Canada": Conceptual and Creative
Approaches to the Human Soundscape. 2007
The Idea of Canada, a radio documentary/composition commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1992 was the author’s first foray into the world of soundscape composition. This essay examines the author’s distinction between what he calls “natural” and “human” soundscape the theological/philosophical foundations for this distinction and how his philosophy about music composition and the world in general are reflected in, and gave impetus to, this particular project. This essay was first read as a keynote speech at the AIS2: Intersections conference at the University of Regina, Canada on June 18 2007. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
Religion, Politics and Contemporary Music. 2006
This essay discusses the ideological and political backdrop against which contemporary music must survive and flourish. Keynote lecture given on May 13 2006 at the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Student Symposium, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. In Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
The Orchestra as Metaphor. 2000.
This essay attempts to view the symphonic repertory and western music in general as a metaphor for a larger sociopolitical process and its spiritual undercurrent. Through this approach, the essay attempts to address the question of why is the symphony orchestra today in a state of crisis as regards repertory and audience.
Ritual Versus Performance: The Future of Concert Music. 1998.
Published in Harmony, forum of the Symphony Orchestra Institute. Number 7, October 1998, pp. 80 - 90. Posted on the Internet with permission from the publishers of Harmony. Copyright © 1998 The Symphony Orchestra Institute. All rights reserved. As in an earlier essay, the author views some of the recent problems of classical concert music as symptomatic of a cultural paradigm shift. He gives a brief survey of the relationship between artists and society from the Middle Ages to the present and claims that the present paradigm shift is the first important one since the advent of polyphony. Based on his analysis of past trends, he makes predictions about the directions that music is likely to follow in the future. This essay is also available in translations in German and Greek in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format. Download the German translation by Angela Hohmann which was commissioned by members of the Berlin Philharmonic for the non-English speaking members of the orchestra. Download the Greek translation by Andreas Andreopoulos. It was read by the author on February 11, 2001 at a symposium on future trends in contemporary composition at the Mediterranean Music Centre, Lamia, Greece.
Towards a New Musical Paradigm.
Called to explain the evolution of contemporary music, the author admits that he is unable to do so using exclusively the language of musical analysis. He explores the social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of the last thirty years, attributing the turn from modernism through minimalism and postmodernism to present day musical practices (Tavener, Bryars, Pärt, Gorecki, Kancheli etc.) to a profound change of the role of music, a characteristic of the forthcoming New Age paradigm. Issues that further illuminate this probe include the examination of the identity of the artist of the past as a Creator, as opposed to the artist who would approach the audience (and the Universe) as an equal partner of artistic creation, and the communicative and interactive nature of music. The author initially describes the new paradigm shift from within the field of music composition, but then expands his account to human culture as a whole, arguing that the focus is moving from the product to the process, from the production of masterpieces to the production of masterculture. The antithesis between left and right-brain artistic motives is recognized, as well as the usefulness, as opposed to the truth, of art. Recent phenomena, artistic (such as the turn to relaxation music and similar New Age experimentations) and social (the reluctance of the governments and the public to support the classical arts), are viewed under this analysis as symptomatic of the New Age transformation. Also published by Mikropolyphonie on-line journal. 1996.
ETHICS AND MUSIC, CULTURAL APPROPRIATION, etc.
Christos Hatzis: What
Constitutes Authorship in Art Music? 2007.
This essay discusses cultural borrowing and quotation in postmodern art music in relation to copyright law. An essay read at the Conference “Ethics, Law and Music” hosted by Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM), Montréal, Quebec, Canada on October 20, 2007.
Christos Hatzis: Footprints in New Snow: Postmodernism or Cultural Appropriation?.
Footprints in New Snow, a CBC radio program about the Inuit and their katajjaq (vocal games) created by me and produced by Keith Horner in 1996, was the first project which made me aware of the questions arising from the use of aboriginal sonic material in contemporary composition. This paper discusses some of the moral, aesthetic and practical considerations associated with this use and chronicles my own approach and methodology both musical and interpersonal to the material and to the native people of Arctic Canada.
Christos Hatzis: CONSTANTINOPLE: The Aesthetics of Cultural
This essay discusses the history and aesthetics of the 80-minute multimedia work by the same name.
Christos Hatzis: The Art of the
Palimpsest: Compositional Approaches to the Music of J. S. Bach. 1998.
Between 1985, the year of J. S. Bach’s 300th birthday, and 1998 I worked on a number of compositions which are palimpsests of works by Bach. Four of them are based on fugues from Bach’s swan song, The Art of the Fugue. This paper describes my philosophical approach to composing works based on existing music in general, and attempts to outline the techniques used in each one of the works in this series.
The Law of One: Recursive Structures in Composition.
Published in Organized Sound Volume 3, No. 1, pp. 17 -25. Summer 1998. Cambridge University Press. 'The Law of One', my doctoral thesis composed during 1980 and 1981, was the first in an ongoing series of works which employed the numeric relations of the overtone series to determine all other compositional parameters, pitch, timbre, harmony, rhythm and several nested magnifications of form. The entire composition is a large fractal with a simple principle of construction permeating every aspect of the composition from micro to macro.
Christos Hatzis: Towards an Endogenous Automated Music.
vol.9 (1980), pp 83-114.
Christos Hatzis: Chronochroma. Interface, vol. 8 (1979), pp 73-90.
Christina Paola Abdul-Karim: The Referential Use of Greek Byzantine Chant in the Music of John Tavener, Ivan Moody, Michael Adamis and Christos Hatzis. July 2005 Honours Thesis. UNSW School of Music, Australia.