Thursday 14 April 2022
Watch the performance here :
Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
The entire tragedy in music for words
On Thursday, April 14, Dimitris Kamarotos’s “Prometheus Bound” by Aeschylus, a co-production of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the National Library of Greece, will be made available to the Cultural Center’s audience online.
The work of composer and sound dramatist D. Kamarotos was created amidst the pandemic and, in March 2021, it was performed 5 times and broadcast live online from the historic headquarters of the National Library of Greece (NLG), the Vallianeio Megaro on Panepistimiou Street, reaching the screens of at least 18,000 viewers.
In November 2021, it was presented at the Stavros Niarchos Hall in a unique film screening-capturing of the performance. Image and sound had undergone all the planned post-production stages after the first performance, and featured the editing, picture/color quality, and sound editing that allowed the work to be fulfilled as a feature film.
Now, in accordance with the creators’ original planning, this material is made available to the general public as an online video.
Press coverage of Prometheus Bound by Dimitris Kamarotos, in a new translation by Nikos A. Panayotopoulos, featuring actors Amalia Moutoussi and Konstantinos Avarikiotis and musicians Anna Pangalou, Katerina Konstantourou and Christos Liatsos, included the following accolades:
“I dare say that this is a performance, a text, that must be shown everywhere, all around the world.” Caterina Anesti
“A show that did not only feature the sound of words. It also featured the sound of music. And these two sounds paired up. And were fascinating.” Olga Sella
This performance features the entire text of Aeschylus in the form of a personalized narrative at a dense pace. Set in the reading room of the old National Library—the historical Vallianeio Megaro—lead actors Amalia Moutoussi and Konstantinos Avarikiotis, mezzo-soprano Anna Pangalou and soloist musicians Katerina Konstantourou and Christos Liatsos go through the entire text of Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus.
Note by Dimitris Kamarotos:
Amalia Moutoussi and Konstantinos Avarikiotis, thoroughly immersed in all the aspects of the poetic material, assume the roles of all the characters of the play, and Anna Pangalou enacts the Chorus. They use a sheet of musical notations that runs through the entire text and the music itself with a particular technique: “sound masks” that differentiate between characters. They roughly recount, at a frantic pace, a story that surrounds them. They seek to reassure us, as well as tell us about the admirable and terrible things, the details of which only they know.
The actors, as two characters separate from the dramatic ones, a woman and a man who have already spent an indefinitely long period of time in a condition of confinement, are narrating while their time is running out. They are enveloped by the musicians who supervise and support them. They are relating to us a testimony from a unique experience they’ve had: some people who were there, in that same space, before them had left their traces. All around there are books, embedded video screenings, objects, excerpts from hand-written texts, lyrics and shapes, and their own markings that mix and mingle with those left behind by the others. One of the site’s inhabitants, at some point in the past, might have been a… Prometheus. They speak his words about pain as a transferable commodity, about the fire that pervades us and the star-filled sky that looks upon us. Using images, sounds, music, they throw across a bridge between the old dwelling of the books and us.
We took a myth, that of Prometheus Bound, to the old National Library on Panepistimiou Street. We found ourselves in the place where Athens sounds different and time is compressed. We replicated with our own mediums this myth that was turned into poetry by Aeschylus, which was turned into a new piece of literature through its translation by Nikos Panayotopoulos, and through all these successive representations we compose the music of meanings: we return to the myth the possibility of being told again, now, in this space.
“Prometheus, everything happens far outside our home, in the space where the elements meet. But he/she is inside, somewhere near your traces, in the echo of the typographic elements of an old National Library. There, scattered around the steep rocks, your marks fleetingly appear.
In that short time, I have to tell you all that I can, so you can hear all that you can. I think it’s raining outside.”
Translation: Nikos A. Panayotopoulos
Concept / Musical Drama / Music Composition: Dimitris Kamarotos
Set: Eva Manidaki
Costume Design: Eva Nathena
Cinematography / Lighting Design: Yannis Drakoularakos
Artistic Associate: Eleni Kavouki
Sound Design: Costas Bokos / Studio19
Design of Video Projections in the Library: Vasilis Kunturis / Studio19
Post-Production: Dimitris Kamarotos, Studio19
Anna Pangalou, mezzo-soprano
Katerina Konstantourou, piano
Christos Liatsos, percussion