Geryoneïs by Joshua Harris

Performed as part of the Akropolis Reed Quintet’s 2018 Together We Sound festival at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Anne Carson’s beautiful translation of the surviving fragments of Stesichorus’s tale of Geryon, the red monster of Greek mythology, served as the inspiration for Geryoneïs (The Song of Geryon). Red Meat (Carson’s title) tells from the monster’s perspective the story of Hercules killing Geryon and his dog and stealing Geryon’s prized herd of red cattle. This Geryon, however, is a pitiable monster and one in appearance only. He is the innocent victim of Hercules’s murderous rampage—the hero and the monster having switched roles.

Geryoneïs was conceived as sixteen musical fragments–matching Carson’s sixteen fragments of verse– interwoven into a dynamic tapestry of different-each-time textures and harmonies. As with much of my music, I’m especially interested here in overlapping layers that may or may not complement one another, which are well-suited for evoking the kind of jagged non-linearity I associate with the memories of traumatic experiences. Specifically, the competing themes at play are otherness and family, tragedy and heroism, violence and pastoral peace, heaven and hell.” – Composer, Joshua Harris

*Akropolis Commission*

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