Eleni Karaindrou

Ulysses' Gaze

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Eleni Karaindrou's long, fruitful partnership with Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has given birth to several scores for his award-winning films. However, perhaps no previous Karaindrou score contains the evocative power of her compositions for Ulysses' Gaze, the film about memory, artistic quests, and war that won the Grand Prix du Jury at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. An extended suite for viola, oboe, accordion, trumpet, horn, cello, voice, and string orchestra, Ulysses' Gaze embodies the themes of longing, nostalgia, loss, memory, and obsession that are the film's subjects. The string orchestra is employed to provide a wavering dark current beneath the bright notes of Kim Kashkashian's viola and the wind players, which bloom above like the icons of memory. The theme associated with "A," the central character who serves as the Ulysses of the film's title, is a constant repetitive framework upon which small vignettes of European folk music and elegiac song are built. The effect mirrors the film's journey across a portion of Europe torn apart by political divides and war, but more importantly provides small fragments of the pure images of peace and beauty that are so essential for Ulysses to find.

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