Apoxyomenos recomposed is a new music project and cooperation between the Croatian composer and singer Tamara Obrovac and the Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia, based on the pieces which Tamara Obrovac composed for the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb's ballet Apoksiomen in 2017.
Tamara's compositions acquired their final form during their team work in Siena, at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in the autumn of 2022, and 2023, when they were also recorded.
The songs' lyrics are in Ancient Greek and are based on the fragments of the verses from the Trojan Women by Euripides, chosen for the ballet performance by the dramaturg Lada Kaštelan.
The first public performance of part of the musical material was on October 31, 2023, in the Orpheum hall in Graz as part of the Phono Femme festival. The album will be released in early 2024, and the concert promotion will begin with a concert at the Istrian National Theater in Pula on February 14, 2024.
An anti-war drama, the Trojan Women which, with its theme of war and exile, unfortunately also corresponds to the modern times, depicts tragic fates of women after the Trojan War through the verses which talk of emotions such as sorrow, hopelessness, grief, abandonment, hope, joy, resignation and acceptance of what cannot be changed.
The Project's artistic vision rests on Apoxyomenos (a young athlete's bronze statue, found in the sea near Mali Lošinj after 2000 years) as an artefact of the vanished civilisation, a symbol of a sunken world, an extinct language, a shipwreck and the metaphysics of the sea as a tomb, but at the same time also a source and continuation of life.
The melodiousness, but also the austerity of the Ancient Greek, have provided a new dimension to the creative work of this tandem, whose filigree interpretations opened a new spectrum of expression and also inspired a transformation of compositions into a different musical form, which also brings the classical music elements into their signature, characterised by a combination of contemporary jazz and improvised music.
Tamara and Stefano have been cooperating since 2018 in the TransAdriatic quartet band, whose album TransAdriaticum was released in 2019 and on which Tamara, remaining faithful to her expression where she blends Istria and contemporary jazz, presented new compositions, written for a quartet of great musicians from the two neighbouring countries, Croatia and Italy, being particularly inspired by the original pianist signature of Stefano Battaglia, whose sensibility and poetics of expression are, also in this cooperation, beautifully complemented by the emotivity and expressiveness of Tamara's vocal.
"The ballet ensemble of Zagreb’s Croatian National Theatre triumphed Friday night with the premiere of the poetic, spiritual and multi-layered ballet performance Apoxyomenos choreographed by Brazilian-Belgian choreographer Claudio Bernard, whose strong spiritual framework and stimulus was added by the glorious music of Tamara Obrovac… Particular beauty and strength was brought to the performance by the magical and very emotional music of composer Tamara Obrovac, that sounded like the incorporation of all the strongest musical idioms of Mediterranean, from Africa to Dalmatia and Istria, and even jazz and electronic music… Without these compositions, that made your skin shiver and that pierced your soul directly, the ballet Apoxyomenos would not have been so impressive."