Giorgos Koumendakis (b. 1959)
Forget Me Not, for solo clarinet (2007/2010)
Score designing and editing: Yannis Samprovalakis
Foreword: Giorgos Koumendakis
English translation: Maria Hnaraki
Graphic design: Antonis Kapiris
During the last few years, Greek traditional music has been the moving force of my compositions. I re-invent, re-structure and re-compose traditional music themes, preserving their energy and subtlety, the authenticity of their primordial model, their vibration and soul, following the paths of the “anonymous” folk composers; “anonymous” composers of every kind and without borders, far from any racial self-admiration. As this material swirls in my hands, it inevitably gains something from my personality (the dose being determined by the material itself as well as the innumerable “hearings” of my music, as the sound is being shaped step by step on paper). These large or small doses of personal expression leave no room for returning to familiar ground.
The work Forget Me Not for solo alto saxophone (2007) or solo clarinet (2007/2010) forms part of the cycle of works under the general title Typewriter Tune, which attempts to decipher musical letters sent to various recipients. Each work offers the next something from its own world and thus a succession is created with a beginning lost in time, a present that is not static and a future looking to the superiority of evolution. In Forget Me Not, the receiver is the homonymous flower. During the whole piece, the Tsamikos – a 3/4 popular Greek folk dance performed solemnly, proudly and gracefully in the regions of the Peloponnese, Central Greece as well as Epirus – is latent, without however allowing for an autotelic dominance to take place over the composition. The wordplay in the title between the actual meaning of the words and the flower associates the fragility of the delicate blossom with the uncertainty of an ephemeral friendship.
Translated by Maria Hnaraki
May 31, 2010
Philippos Nakas Concert Hall, Athens (Greece)
Yannis Samprovalakis, clarinet