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The music of the intimate whisper, choking sounds, spikes, whimpers, groans and four-pianissimo, from which incoherent words, sentences and cautious sounds emerge, fill the whole hour. This vocal score expresses resistance in its existential minimalism.

Gisela Nauck for Deutschlandfunk Kultur (12.12.2017)

Nekyia is Odysseus’ descend in Hades where he speaks to the dead. Each listener becomes Odysseus listening to the voices of Hades – four monologues by the heroes of Ancient Greece mythology: Alexandra, Alcestis, Eurydice and Epicasta.

Dmitri Kourliandski
__

Offline version of “Nekyia” was premiered at Voznesensky centre in Moscow, March 13 - May 12, 2019 as an opera-installation combining 4-channel sound and multiscreen video created specially for the project by artist Elena Nemkova.

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released March 15, 2019

Nekyia
online opera*
2016

Dmitri Kourliandski: music
Dimitris Yalamas: text**
Elena Nemkova: video***

Performed by soloists of the Electrotheatre Stanislavsky choir:

1. Alexandra: Ekaterina Andreeva
2. Alcestis: Maria Menshenina
3. Eurydice: Tatiana Perevalova
4. Epicaste: Alina Gorina

Music director: Arina Zvereva

Recorded by: Ruslan Zaipold, Electrotheatre Stanislavsky Studio, Moscow, 2016

Special thanks to: Andrei Voznesensky Foundation and Electrotheatre Stanislavsky
__

* online opera: the format provides a possibility of listening to solo arias-monologues as well as duos or trios of any combinations by playing the tracks in parallel on different devices or in different windows. The four monologues can be also listened to as a quartet in one track. Whether you are listening in headphones or with loudspeakers, outdoors or indoors – the surrounding everyday reality mixes up with the sounding monologues and becomes the scenic realization of the opera.

** Translated by Stanislav Lvovsky [1], Steven Saymour [2-4]

*** “Retinal poetries” by Elena Nemkova:

The inner layer of the eyes serve to create some moving images on the retina, much the same as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical events that ultimately trigger nerve impulses. These are sent to various visual centres of the brain through the optic nerve.

The colourful scintillate illusions of these Retinal Poetries are the flows of loss of consciousness, a bath of forced Eden, a brain melancholia; even they are driven by very mechanical stimuli.

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Track Name: Ekaterina Andreeva - Alexandra
i fell
fell to bits
to pieces
doctors
sewed
my hands on
where my legs
were
sewed my
eyes on
instead of
ears
my teeth
in place
of hands and
I wandered
the streets
like this
saying hello
to people
like this —
buying potions
from the drowned
fisherman —
selling poisons
to the hanged
maid
treating a shattered
boy with honey
cookies
that woman
she sat
in the market
asked
for water
made presents
of salt
to bypassers
strangers
she had long
tentacles
for hair
sticky unruly
she begged
„stop
scaring
passersby“
she begged
„stop
weaving
perdition“
but they disobeyed
they were screaming
murder squealing
and their
scream was disturbing
the dead
„not the time“
they kept saying
„now is not
the time
to officiate
rains“
they said
the deceased
i fell
fell
to pieces
to bits
doctors
came
sewed
my legs on
to where my
belly was
reattached
eyelids
instead of lips
replaced
my tongue
with one
of the eyes
I wandered
the streets
like this
saying hello
to people
like this —
and that
mother she sat
in the square
with two
boys born
eyeless
telling them
of
the sea
of
the sky
of
the forests
and they
listened
their mouths
open
and there
they were
instead of
teeth —
the sea
and
the sky
and
the forests
and their childish
penises
covered
in scales
penises
with venomous
fangs
reached out
to their faces
and bit
and the boys
falling slowly
asleep spelled
doom to the city
prophesied
fires and
downfall and
famine and
then ceased
to listen
once more
to their mother
telling them of
the sea
and
the sky
and
the forests
i fell fell
to bits fell
to pieces
doctors
they sewed
my hair on
in place
of my breasts
reattached
fingers instead
of ribs
nipples instead
of knees
i wandered
the streets
like this
saying hello
to people
like this —
and the wind
was blowing
maleficent
wind
carrying
odor
of the future
infirmaries
shimmering
wind
threshing me
with its frosts
and i saw
this wind
breathing
not like a wind
like a demon
of harm
and death
saw it embracing
virgins
from behind
exposing their
breasts
exposing their
thighs
saw it kissing
their lips
covering them
with shiver
unknown before
saw it
entering
their bodies
and planting
its poisonous
seed
planting
its poisonous
seed
in your daughters‘
wombs
planting
its poisonous
seed
Track Name: Maria Menshenina - Alcestis
I have left
for a distant
land
of red sounds
into the earth
of ailing colors
into the realm
of torn up smells
under the sky
that holds no
water
under the earth
that has no
sky
under the water
where there is no
earth
to the realm
where
even
emptiness
does not exist
I the disgraced
Queen
who has
sacrificed
her life
for the sake
of earthly
love
for a man

summer
in my homeland –
and hounds
in sleep are flying

the moon
waning
mad
possessed
scribbles
for me
the news
on the crumbling
furniture
of the palace:
gold
an omen
of parting
silver
an omen
of sorrow
the purple
the usual
omen
of death

summer
in my homeland

cramped up

all furniture
should have long
been covered
with cloth

stifling

the dead
should have
long
been carried out of the room

it is dark

the dishes
should have
long
been buried –


earth
is bleeding
in a cup

summer
in my homeland –

angels
in sleep
are howling

Heracles
will not come
I do not believe
the oracles

here
I shall remain
and shall wake up
twenty-five
centuries
later
in a common
grave
of a common
woman
clad in common
clothes
and
shall die
a common
death
following
the prescribed
50 minutes
of agony
and
I shall be
the disgraced
Queen
who has sacrificed
her life
for the sake
of earthly
love
for a man
and
all shall be forgotten
and
all shall be forgotten by you
and
all shall be forgotten by you forever
Track Name: Tatiana Perevalova - Eurydice
I
walk

my arms
keep growing

soon
blood-carrying branches
will crop up
on them

owls
will perch on those branches
and puff
into my eyes

I can
hardly
see you

the living
walk
too fast

I
walk
behind
you

my arms
keep growing
soon
they will blossom
with mammalian flowers
worms
will eat those flowers
and
will cough up my blood


I can
hardly
hear you

the living
forget
too soon

I
walk
behind
you

step after step

my arms
keep growing
soon
carnivorous berries
will ripen
on them

the wicked
will drink
the juice of the berries
they will think
I am
the tree
of Eden

the dead
have
no voice

turn around

I am
your
wife
for the rest
of our
death

look
at me

and

you
go
on

I‘ll
stay
here

forever
Track Name: Alina Gorina - Epicasta
can you
hear me?

with a shard
of an antique
mirror
that comes from
the royal palace
of Thebes
my former
home
I
slash
my
belly

cold it is in Hades

husband of mine
enter me
to exit
as my father

can you
hear me?

with my finger
I write
in blood
on the walls
of my
cell

with my finger
I write
from the inside
of my
dried
skull

I look
at you
through the windows
of the hollows
that
once
held
my
eyes

cold it is in Hades

father of mine
enter me
to exit
as my son

can you
hear me?

I tear
bed sheets
wipe off
the blood
and
weave
a ladder
to heaven
I rip out
my
womb

and raise it
in my hands
before
you

I fear
neither blood
nor pain
nor the wrath of gods

the dead
know not
fear

cold it is in Hades

son of mine
enter me
to exit
as my god

can you
hear me?

each
day
I ready myself
for a long
journey

I dye
my
hair
with chalk

cut the skin
of my
face
with
iron rods

cover
myself
with a shroud
throw a noose
over
my
neck
put
a coin
in my mouth
and
stand
before
you

cold it is in Hades

god of mine
enter me
to stay there
forever

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