Reflections on Quadrat (2020)

for tape | an audio installation

Note: The audio of this video is binaural. Use headphones for optimal experience.

Inspired by and made during the 2020 lockdown, the project seeks to apply a malleable, yet dramaturgically compact, musical experience upon an iterative and purgatorial reality.


Accompanying Samuel Beckett's 'Quadrat', the audio component retracts, processes, and lays out samples from individual recording sessions with instrumentalists - friends and colleagues - taken place over the last few years.


Through the work, each distinct instrumental palette is assigned to one of the four walkers. The walkers become then sources of spatial movement. The listener follows the action being placed right at the center of the square facing the middle of the upper side.

The project will eventually be presented solely as an audio installation. In a dark room, a similar square is projected on the ground. In each of the four corners, a loudspeaker is placed facing the center. In another room, four instrumentalists are playing and their signals are processed and sent inside the area, following the spatialization trajectories of the play. The listeners are walking freely inside the square.


Alexander Ishov, flutes • Alexandria Smith, trumpets

Michele Bianchini, saxophones • Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, percussion

Grit (2019)

for piano, fixed media, live electronics, and sound diffusion

Premiered by Dimitris Paganos Koukakis in November 2019

 the University of California, San Diego.

Note: The audio of this video is binaural. Use headphones for optimal experience.

Slit (2019)

for double bass and fixed media

Premiered by Kathryn Schulmeister and the Vertixe Sonora 

in November 2019 in Padrón, Spain.

-excerpt 2:25-3:40-

Pythmenas (2019)

a 3D audio installation for 28 channels

Pythmenas (Greek word for ‘bottom of the ocean’) is a collaborative 3D audio installation work that took place at the Spatialization Lab of the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego in May 2019.


Three distinct worlds interact to create a musical experience. The ocean sets the primary component of the triadic entity, inspiring the entirety of the artistic work. The sonic profiles from recordings of several of its living organisms (i.e. whales, dolphins, seals) are being interpreted by members (instrumentalists) of the overwater universe, who carry out a discussion following a line of instructions for improvisatory action. Technology, the last constituent, intervenes, capturing and processing the activity of the performers as well as manipulating the original media.


The final outcome is the audio registration and fusion of the totality of layers projected and spatialized through an infrastructure of 28 spherically configured loudspeakers laid out in 4 levels; ground level - center (ring of 4), ear level - perimeter (ring of 12), 2 meters above ear level - perimeter (ring of 8), ceiling - center (ring of 4).

The work is influenced by the recording process of underwater sounds, in which the participation of the three worlds (i.e. ocean species, humans, technology) is necessitated. 


Alex Ishov, flutes • Dimitris Paganos Koukakis, piano

Ilana Waniuk, violin • Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, percussion

Note: This is a binaural recording. Use headphones for optimal experience.

for bass clarinet, violin, cello, and live electronics

Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A  was premiered by the [Switch~ Ensemble] during the 2016 VIPA (Valencia International Performance Academy) Festival that took place in Valencia, Spain in July 2016.

Madison Greenstone, bass clarinet
Lauren Cauley, violin
T. J. Borden, cello

Program Notes:
The piece has no score. The three parts were written independently with each part moving through its own temporal stream. The three parts, sharing duration and sonic identity by being consistent on a dominant textural hue, were written to co-exist by beginning and finishing together, with the instrumentalists playing using click-tracks and without being aware of each other during the performance.

Solely for educational purposes, a video has been made after the completion of the composition and its premiere to provide a rudimentary score follower of the work, aligning in parallel the playbacks of the individual scores of the parts, aiming, firstly, to present a notational sense of the momentary vertical relationships throughout the musical activity and, secondly, to visualize the global progression of the layer of the composition’s dramaturgy.

The score follower video may be found here. 

Electronics made based on a Max/MSP patch built by Nicolas Tzortzis.

Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A (2016)


doomed to its paralysed eternity (2015-6)

for alto flute, tenor saxophone, percussion, piano


Commissioned by ensemble Suono Giallo

l'esprit de l'escalier (2014)

for large ensemble


Commissioned by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne


Indiscriminately (2014)

for soprano, saxophone, piano


Commissioned by the Ritsos Ensemble

Poetry by Yiannis Ritsos

Le Radeau de la Méduse (2012)

for string quartet


Performed by the Mivos Quartet at the

Shanghai New Music Week 2012 in Shanghai, China.

Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A.ii (2016)

version for violin, cello, and live electronics


Performed by Quartetto Mitja at the

MA/IN Matera Intermedia Festval 2016 in Matera, Italy

...yet so terribly afraid of its endlessness (2018)

for saxophone, fixed media, live electronics, and spatialization

Commissioned by Michele Bianchini 

to be included in his first solo album 'Grido'

published by Ars Publica.

-promo video-


About Grido:

'Grido (Shout) is the culmination of a collaboration carried out with some of the composers I have met, whose aim was to explore the full range of expressive possibilities that the saxophone offers. Each of the composers brings a unique approach and style, which makes for a stimulating mix of colors and sounds that highlight both the concrete and amorphous capacity of the instrument. This album is a sonic journey that presents a continuous meandering through various states from calm to anxiety, sounds ranging from vocal to instrumental, rhythmical moments that are solid then scattered, tonal qualities that move from vivid to somber, and textural environments here thick and opaque, there ephemeral and transparent - a combination of sensations that formulate a rich experience and provide a multifarious perspective of contemporary thought on the saxophone.'

- Michele Bianchini

...aspettando... (2014)

for staged amplified saxophonist and amplified alto saxophone

Written for Michele Bianchini and submitted

as part of the master's thesis at the Eastman School of Music

in April 2014.

Program Notes:

…aspettando… is a piece for solo alto saxophone that was completed in March 2014 and was commissioned by the Italian saxophonist Michele Bianchini. It lasts a little more than ten minutes, and was based on Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot (1948).

What influences me the most in Beckett’s work is the extremely well structured eccentric and erratic, though substantial, idiosyncratic atmosphere that lies on all of his works. What amazes me on the specific work, Waiting for Godot, is the monotonous, though tense, scenery that is given by the endless dialogues between Vladimir and Estragon, the two protagonists. I idolize how Beckett maintains this kind of energy throughout the work, though nothing really happens. That is what I tried to achieve in the solo saxophone work; contradiction: localized complexity vs macro-scale simplification and unification.

The solo piece was composed using a wide canvas of small and large gestures that were put in order in a particular way so that sometimes the connection between them does not make any sense. The process I used to achieve this phenomenon was that of breaking gestures in pieces and interfering smaller samples of gestures into other gestures. Consequently, although the local and micro-level may seem awkward and not well connected, the entirety of the structure has a logical momentum. This concept interprets the structural flow of Waiting for Godot, where, even if the essence and the meaning of each local discussion between the two protagonists may be minimal and totally irrelevant to the whole work, there is a macro-scale point that underlies and puts together the entirety of the work’s process (i.e. the fact of waiting for someone who never comes).

Scores published by 

Copyright 2019 © Theocharis Papatrechas

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