Kontilies (duos: recorder, percussion)
by Racheal Cogan (2007)
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Kontilies [pron. "Kon-dil-yez"] are a form of music/dance from the island of Crete in Greece, where I spent some time from 2000-2001. Kontilies generally consist of simple repeated motifs that in the hands of a good musician can become a hypnotic moment of dazzling complexity and virtuosity.
Whenever I heard this style performed on the lyra (a Cretan bowed lute), I wanted to capture the same sound and feeling on the recorder. However I was unsure if it was possible to create that incessant trance-like flow, simply because of the need to breathe. When I tried to achieve this idea through circular breathing, I felt that I had come close to the sound I wanted. So while I have titled this piece after the musical genre, I am not following the style strictly, but attempting to recreate the feeling that so captivated me when I heard it. Another element sometimes used in this style of music is the drone. The middle section of this piece captures that aspect by using a sung moving drone underpinning the melody.
Instrumentation: Tenor recorder, percussion.
Duration: 5 min.
Percussion part by Tony Lewis.
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