KLAMA: the Voice from Oral Tradition in Death Rituals to a Work for Choir & Live Electronics

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2007 (2007)




Klama, for mixed choir, live electronics & prerecorded sounds, has its origins in the ritual lament of Southern Peloponnese (Greece); a “polyphony” composed of improvised monodies (moirolóya), epodes, crying, screams and monologues, accompanied by ritual gestures. By its acoustic violence the lament can be considered an alteration of vocality which affects simultaneously tonality, timbre and language. Klama has been developed in three levels, a nexus where vocal writing interacts with electroacoustics and live electronics, the latter seen as a metaphore of the inherent vocal alterations on the lament. In this paper we will show : 1) how the compositional material derived from the voice in oral and byzantine church tradition is explored for the choir and electronic writing; 2) how the three levels of Klama, acoustic, electroacoustic & live electronics interact through the act of composition and by means of the technological tools (Open Music, Max/Msp, Audio Sculpt).