Phoenisses is Greek composer Petros Theodorou's fifth release, the first since the 1995 CD Musica Practica. He worked on this music for five years, as it evolved from accompanying music for a stage production of Euripides' The Phoenician Women to a drama/dance performance, and finally to an independent piece of music. The final result retained elements of all stages: the dramatic buildups, the malleability and movement of bodies, the snippets of texts appearing like ghosts or vague remembrances of the Oedipus myth that forms the basis of the play. Theodorou's music constitutes a less restrictive approach to musique concrète: acoustic and synthetic instruments are heard, along with voices, but they are all extensively treated into an organic piece. More tonal and poetic than the electro-acoustic works composed in the laboratories of universities, Phoenisses recalls Francis Dhomont's Forêt Profonde, Serge Arcuri's Les Méandres du Rêve, and the works of other Greek composers like Ilias Chadjoglou and Costis Drygianakis (minus the latter's sound collage technique). Musique concrète purists will probably recoil at the sound of lyrical melodies -- one arises from the treated "swooshes" of "Birth" and another is isolated on "Duel" -- but this trait is what makes Theodorou's music both original and captivating. It refuses to be trapped by sterilizing academic rules.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture