Delphic Bee

(2012)

by Tansy Davies

Description
wind nonet
Duration
10
Instrumentation
1222-2000
Commission
Commissioned by the City of London Festival for its 50th anniversary, with the support of the Worshipful Company of Musicians
First Performance
28.6.2012, Mansion House, London, UK: Players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Availability

score and parts on hire

Programme Notes
'Delphic Bee' is inspired by the most prestigious and authoritative oracle amoung the Greeks: the Delphic oracle - the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Speech patterns may be detected in the unison rhythms of the piece, which have a compact 'bee-like' energy, suggestive of the pattern making activities of bees, and often the sound seem to almost buzz. Apparently the oracles at Delphi were delivered in a frenzied state, induced by vapours rising from a chasm in the rock of the cave in which the responses were given. The music acknowledges this imagined 'gibberish' as enlightenment, in the same way the priests at Delphi interpreted the enigmatic prophesies, and preserved them in Greek literature. The last recorded response from the Delphic oracle was in AD 393, after which the Emporer Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. ‘Delphic Bee’ was commissioned by the City of London Festival.

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