Crown of Ptherirein program note

The crown is the perfection of deceit, it is the deceit that circles in on itself, it is that perfection which includes deceit within it.

-Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Roberto Calasso


This quote from the 1988 book is in relation to the gift of a crown from Dionysus to Ariadne during his seduction of her.

In ancient Greek ptherirein means to destroy but also to seduce. This piece plays with the dichotomy of these two ideas.  My inspiration for the piece is also peppered with the power play between human woman and immortal, male god. A majority of my music focuses on these ancient greek stories and I am very interested in this idea of manipulation and seduction, a recurring theme of these tales.

Another interesting factor with such old myths is that they can have various versions. In Ariadne's’ case, one telling of the story Dionysus rapes her, in another he seduces her, and in yet another she is a willing participant in the seduction.

All these elements are at play in this piece, twisting and turning in a musical labyrinth where I play with flow and transfer of energy.

This is the second piece I’ve had the pleasure of writing for Crystal, having met at the 2015 SoundSCAPE New Music Festival in Italy. I want to thank her for the opportunity and wish her the best with this performance.