Aspasia Nasopoulou
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Asemna (2002)
Poetry, Thanos Zoes
For string quartet, flute, piano, mezzo soprano and narrator
Total duration: 14 min.

Asemna (2002)

This piece is based on the surrealistic poem “Indecent” by Thanos Zoes. The choice of the musical material, as well as the texture and the structure of the piece are based on the images, symbols and structure of the poem. There are two worlds merged into one within this poem; the dream itself, together with the unconscious reactions of the person who is dreaming. Both the Mezzo Soprano and the Narrator share and represent these two fantastic worlds. The piano plays a connecting and announcing role by creating bridges. Although the use of voice follows a traditional way in literature expressions, it is the first time that the narrating/singing parts are fused in a more theatrical manner. This style will be explored later in Rodia=SO4H2 and in Spirits of the dead.
Asemna is the first piece of a sequence of works in which the composition structure has more narrative tendencies-even without using a text-(Narkissos and Echo, Merose)


With eyes sunk in the mattress,
He ponders at the path in-the-dark-to-be-trodden,
Whilst the Dream takes toll on his spine strained and toiled.

Yet, lo -
The color that springs
From the pebbles of the shore
That the breaths of our race
Have shaped,
Makes the rocks of the sea
Flare bright and high
With blossom and pearls.

Whilst the Dream takes toll on his spine strained and toiled,
Himself, like a trireme unsinkable in gales,
Sails away with the tillers hanging over
From the boughs of a willow that's defied
The pangs and the tears of her fate.


His eyes, lurking in cedars,
Wonder at a world weird and strange,
Whilst the Dream bears him new life
at a stroke of Her Grace.

Yet, lo -
As Helios sets on the Nile,
Armies of branchiaeless pisces
Bear torches that have lost their flame
And set out to no avail
To find the desert's untraceable oases -
On their way implanting words
On the tongue of the Sphinx who
Is lustily singing her song,
Wearing clock-hands of gold
To cover her hollow eyes.

Whilst the Dream bears him new life
At a stroke of Her Grace,
He voluptuously swallows
The sharp-nibbed pen of his frightful toils -
By stifling redeeming
His bleeding pubescence into eternal glory.


His eyes, covered in veils,
Gaze at still-unlived time,
Whilst the Dream freezes out his mind
With a scarlet word unashamed.

Yet, lo -
A crew of cherubian sailors,
Clad in heavenly tar-suits,
Steer a ship built of hay
And set eyes on impregnable shores
Where maidens bear their offspring
From sperm that the blazing ocean has laid
On their celibate limbs

Whilst the Dream freezes out his mind
With a scarlet word unashamed,
He serenely washes
The spilt-clock-on-the-wall away,
Into Chaos thus awakening
Of his insouciant passions
The unlullable pains.


His eyes, listlessly straying into starlit pathways,
Gaze infinitely at still-unfilled space,
Whilst the Dream into shambles tumbles down his fences.

Yet, lo -
Two frenzied stallions in reverie
Fly off with wings open-wide
To comfort the sad flock of Maidens
Who seek their hearts out in vain
In crammed-full slaughter-houses.

Whilst the Dream into shambles tumbles down his fences,
He raving sets alight to cinders
The bushes of his woeful plays,
Thus foolishly abolishing to nullity
The inexhaustible memory
of Interminable Aeons.

Thanos Zoes