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Music

Ancient Greek Myths Inspire Chamber Music for the Future, Concert Dec. 8

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In collaboration with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Greek Chamber Music Project (GCMP) presents the in-person premiere of Talos Dreams and Medea: Rebirth and Destruction on Wednesday, December 8, 7 PM PST. This live-streamed event will take place at the new state-of-the-art Bowes Center, 200 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.

Accompanying the performance will be a prerecorded talkback by Talos Dreams composer Costas Dafnis and Adrienne Mayor, the author of Gods and Robots, about the role of technology in ancient Greece. This concert celebrates the release of Synchronos: New Greek Voices on the GCMP label, which features Talos Dreams. A copy of the CD is included with a tax-deductible donation to the Greek Chamber Music Project.

Commissioned by GCMP, Talos Dreams by Costas Dafnis explores the concept of made versus born. Natural and processed sounds come crashing together to conjure an image of Talos, the tale of the first robot. The 30-minute work for chamber ensemble highlights the ghostplate, a novel metallic instrument that Dafnis built and designed with Bay Area improviser Tom Nunn. Its sonic palette — atmospheric, echoing, wispy, and metallic — sounds remarkably electronic for an acoustic instrument. The ghostplate creates a soundscape that is at once familiar and extraordinary. Talos Dreams takes its cues from Gods and Robots, a book by Stanford scholar Adrienne Mayor, revealing that the earliest concepts of automatons, robots and artificial intelligence can be traced back to ancient Greece — first in mythology, and later in self-moving devices and robots. The line between human and not human, born vs. built, is an AI concept that is not recent, but is, in fact, thousands of years old.

The performance will also feature the premiere of Medea: Rebirth and Destruction. It serves as a companion piece to Talos Dreams, inspired by the powerful sorceress responsible for the fall of Talos. Medea held the power of life and death in her hands, enabling her to break free of traditional societal roles. Medea: Rebirth and Destruction is an original collection of works for chamber ensemble and electronics by San Francisco Conservatory of Music composition students.

Ellie Falaris Ganelin (flute), Kyle Bruckmann (oboe), Ariel Wang (violin), Lewis Patzner (cello), and Costas Dafnis (ghostplate) are scheduled to appear.

Concert Details-

Talos Dreams: Chamber Music for the Future

CD release concert featuring two premieres and a talkback

When: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 7 PM PST

Where: The Bowes Center, 200 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco + Online via live stream

Suggested donation: $20, CD included, donate online: https://bit.ly/2ZnJlyD.

Please note that the venue requires proof of vaccination for all those attending in person.

Synchronos: New Greek Voices is available for streaming and purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, and other platforms. More information is available online: https://www.greekchambermusic.com/synchronos-new-greek-voices/.

The Greek Chamber Music Project (GCMP) is an arts presenter and record label devoted to the music of Greek composers, shedding light on little-known chamber music works, as well as revisiting popular songs in a fresh way. GCMP is also committed to supporting the artists who perform and record this rich musical repertoire coming out of Greece and the Greek diaspora. GCMP’s concerts of all-Greek works are so unique, that similar programs are rarely performed even within Greece.

As a record label, it has several previous releases to its name, including “Hellenic Song: A Musical Migration” and “The Moon is Red: A Tribute to Manos Hadjidakis,” which feature a diverse selection of classical works and reimagined popular songs for piano, flute, violin, and voice.

Recent collaborations include an East Coast tour celebrating the Jews of Greece with Sephardic singer Sarah Aroeste, and a concert of songs of The Iliad by singer-songwriter Joe Goodkin at San Francisco State University. Past performance venues include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, as well as cultural centers and universities across the U.S. and Canada.

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