Beschreibung und Texte
Chant for Solo Guitar by Sir John Tavener, played by me, Samantha Muir.
Sir John Tavener describes this piece as a "meditation on the ancient Byzantine hymn, Fos Ilaron." Chant was written in 1984 for Simon James, who commissioned it with funds provided by Raymond Denham. The piece was worked on and premiered by Eleftheria Kotzia. For more information on how to purchase the score please go to the Chester Novello website:
'Fos Ilaron' was written in the 3rd or early 4th century AD and has been translated into English as Hail Gladdening Light. It is also know as the 'Lamp Lighting Hymn'. The hymn is thought to have been composed by Saint Athenogenes on his way to being martyred.
Chant is an atmospheric and haunting piece. Guitarists often find "safety in notes," but Chant exposes the guitar with a simple melodic line. It is this simplicity which provides an interesting musical challenge. There are, of course, some very guitaristic parts. Harmonics and tremolo sections. The tremolo, however, is unofficial. The score has some impossible chords which are directed to be played Rasguerdo...like a bazouki or a balalaika. I thought tremolo sounded more balalaika-like. I recorded the audio on the Edirol and created the visual with some photos and video recorded on the iPhone. Sometimes the audio and video don't quite match (sorry). Photos by Josie Elias, including images of Sherborne Abbey in Dorset.
The music evokes peace and reflection. As it is Christmas time I particularly like the idea of "light" leading humanity towards a more harmonious and joyous existence. This would be the greatest gift we could offer to the children.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas!!!