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Talos Dreams: Chamber Music for the Future

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The Bowes Center

200 Van Ness Ave

San Francisco, CA 94102

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The next generation of music makers look to ancient stories to create music for the future

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In collaboration with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Greek Chamber Music Project presents the in-person premiere of two new chamber music works inspired by Greek mythology: "Talos Dreams" and "Medea: Rebirth and Destruction." This live-streamed event includes a prerecorded talkback by Stanford scholar Adrienne Mayor, whose book Gods and Robots about ancient Greek robots inspired the music. This concert celebrates the release of Synchronos: New Greek Voices on the GCMP label. A copy of the CD is included with a tax-deductible donation to GCMP.

Commissioned by GCMP, Talos Dreams by Costas Dafnis explores the concept of made versus born. Natural and processed sounds come crashing together to conjure an image of Talos, the tale of the first robot. The 30-minute work for chamber ensemble highlights the ghostplate, a novel metallic instrument that Dafnis built and designed with Bay Area improviser Tom Nunn. Its sonic palette — atmospheric, echoing, wispy, and metallic — sounds remarkably electronic for an acoustic instrument. The ghostplate creates a soundscape that is at once familiar and extraordinary.

Talos Dreams takes its cues from Gods and Robots, a book by Stanford scholar Adrienne Mayor, revealing that the earliest concepts of automatons, robots and artificial intelligence can be traced back to ancient Greece — first in mythology, and later in self-moving devices and robots. The line between human and not human, born vs. built, is an AI concept that’s not only recent, but in fact thousands of years old.The performance will also feature the premiere of Medea: Rebirth and Destruction. It serves as a companion piece to Talos Dreams, inspired by the powerful sorceress responsible for the fall of Talos. Medea held the power of life and death in her hands, enabling her to break free of traditional societal roles. Medea: Rebirth and Destruction is an original collection of works for chamber ensemble and electronics by San Francisco Conservatory of Music composition students.

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The Bowes Center

200 Van Ness Ave

San Francisco, CA 94102

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Organizer Greek Chamber Music Project

Organizer of Talos Dreams: Chamber Music for the Future

The Greek Chamber Music Project (GCMP) is an arts presenter and record label devoted to the music of Greek composers, shedding light on little-known chamber music works, as well as revisiting popular songs in a fresh way. GCMP is also committed to supporting the artists who perform and record this rich musical repertoire coming out of Greece and the Greek diaspora. GCMP’s concerts of all-Greek works are so unique, that similar programs are rarely performed even within Greece.

Recent collaborations include an East Coast tour celebrating the Jews of Greece with Sephardic singer Sarah Aroeste, and a concert on songs of The Iliad by singer-songwriter Joe Goodkin at San Francisco State University. Past performance venues include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, as well as cultural centers and universities across the U.S. and Canada.

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