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New Promethean Edition: Percussion Music by Hatzis

Dec 10th, 2009

Promethean Editions is pleased to announce the release of In the Fire of Conflict by Christos Hatzis (PE108). Promethean Editions launched this publication at the 2009 Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Indianapolis, USA with US retailer Steve Weiss Music.

In the Fire of Conflict is named after the theme for the 2008 Toronto Summer Music Festival for which it was written. Originally written for cello, marimba and digital audio, it was later arranged by Hatzis as a percussion quartet, and in this percussion solo version. Set in two continuous movements, the live percussion part is performed with the rap music in the digital audio part, sourced from American rapper Steve Henry, a.k.a. ?Bugsy H.?, of the Christian rap group Poetik Disciples. The live percussion weaves constantly around the rap lyrics, often drawing melodic contours from the prosodic contours of the spoken text.

Reflecting on this commission, Hatzis writes: ?I was becoming very concerned with the rise of gun violence in recent years in Toronto, my home city, but also with the constant rise of violence around the world in either organized conflicts, such as war, or spontaneous eruptions, exacerbated no doubt by food shortages, global warming and demographic explosion particularly in areas where daily survival is most difficult, and by the diminishing hope among the majority of people alive today that our current way of life can continue in its present form indefinitely.?

On the inception of the work, Hatzis continues:

?I have always been fascinated by the prosodic rhythmic discourse of hip-hop music, but certainly not by its implicit endorsement of misogyny and violence that one so often encounters in hip-hop lyrics. Poetik Disciples use the same musical techniques to essentially create devotional songs and that was very inspirational to me. I contacted the leader of the group, Steve Henry, who, as it turned out, had experienced personally the ?bottom of the well? by way of gang violence, loss and incarceration, and asked him if he could help me with this project. A few days later he sent me some rap tracks which he created for this specific project, and I knew then that my work would be very much emanating from his specific material, which has been incorporated into the accompanying audio playback component of the piece.?

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