Eleni Karaindrou

Dust of Time (Music for the Film by Theo Angelopolous)

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Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou's long-term collaboration with director Theo Angelopoulos continues on the score for his film, Dust of Time. The setting for the music in unusual: Angelopoulos' film is about a director named "A" who gets caught up himself within the film he is making, set between the death of Stalin in 1953 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Crossing countries, continents, and lives, the film called for the score to be a mirror image of itself. Hence, Karaindrou found herself with the rare opportunity to write music that would actually be performed in the film itself, instead of being heard as cues to move the narrative along. Indeed, two of her pieces, "Dance," and "Seeking," are performed in three variations each, both with full orchestras and chamber groups courtesy of Camerata, Friends of Music Orchestra, and Hellenic Radio Television Orchestra, all conducted by Alexandros Myrat. The gentleness of Karaindrou's cues underscores Angelopoulos' images and contrasts them sharply. Her many themes, which embrace repetition and notions of distance and return, are more than narrative devices in his story line: they become part of the actual story of the film he is making. While her many scores for his films have been celebrated for their subtlety and ingenious sense of time and nuance -- as well as instrumentation, texture, and color -- this one moves across musical cultures as well as across the span of years built into the script. As a piece of music, it walks the line between modern classical music with folk themes and more historical post-Romantic-era composition. As always, the Hellenocentric is a core part of her musical language, and creates a direct, even (quietly) visceral effect on the listener.