Nympholepsy is a musical response to the immediate environment and history of ancient Messene. By employing field recording, electroacoustic composition and acousmatic performance, the work links the archaic with the contemporary by establishing a dialogue between the ethereal (sound) and the material (the ancient ruins).
The project is inspired by the myth of the nymphs Ithome and Neda who were looking after Zeus in Clepsydra spring, near ancient Messene. The water of Clepsydra spills into the Nymphaion (fountain) of Arsinoe, a sacred space dedicated to the nymphs and located next to the theatre of the ancient city.
Nympholepsy explores the blurred limits between myth and history and examines the relationship between deities and human beings, nature and the supernatural, as well the ways in which these relationships influenced the ancient Greeks’ understanding of and connection with their world.
The acousmatic performance of Nympholepsy will invite the audience to an immersive listening experience, an empirical interaction with ancient Messene that will transform the perception of its identity. The sonic material of the work is based on the voice of Savina Yannatou which is manipulated and combined with environmental recordings. Performed with the use of a multi-channel sound system, Nympholepsy will be a sonic construction of a space that does not exist on any map but is created in the imagination of the listeners.