Tears of Dionysius

for reciter, film and sinfonietta ensemble (1,1,1,1/1,1,1,0/pno,perc/2,1,1,1)
composed 2001/08; duration 64 minutes
commissioned by CAPUT ensemble
world premiere Iceland Arts Festival 2008 (Iceland) May 2008
Stine Ekblad – reciter; CAPUT ensemble; Flemming Windekilde – conductor
Thomas Hejlesen – film; Willie Flindt, Thomas Hejlesen and Lars Graugaard – concept

Tears of Dionysius tells the tragedy of modern man’s sexuality. The term ‘tragedy’ is in this connection refering to a destined activity rather than the sorrowfull condition sadness which immediately comes to mind. Today we see a growing focus and integration of the sexuality in commercial context. It appears as if the aim is to offer a saleable superficial visual stimulation, ideals and manners. ‘Tears of Dionysos’ can be seen as a reaction to this exploitation.

The underlying structure governing the film editing as well as the musical composition is based on the conventional progress of the Japanese tea-ceremony. The tea-ceremony consists of a fixed set of rules for the social interaction between a host and one or more guests. The task of the host is to stage a meeting which at its utmost leads the guest towards an expanded existential understanding. The structure of the Japanese tea-ceremony will be invisible, yet ensures a strict overall form for the frantic erotic passages.

Nietzsche, in his Geburt der Tragödie, describes the dramatic conflict between the Dionysic passion and the Apollinistic clear-sight as the origin of tragedy. It is the aim of ‘Tears of Dionysius’ to investigate this conflict and to give it a visual and musical expression.

The overall structure ensure an even balance between the film and the music, since none of the the two medias will be created primarily on the basis of the other. This means that the two medias can relate freely to the common theme of the work, namely the wordless ecstacy of the Dionysic tragedy.

List of Works


Sound art
Chamber music
Stage music
Chamber orchestra