top of page

Aulos at the Dionysian Feast


  • (a) 2 Recorders, Guitar

  • (b) 3 Recorders, Bass Clarinet, Percussion (2 players)

  • Duration 11 min.

  • Commissioned by Eero Saunamäki with funds from the Madetoja Foundation

  • First performance (a) on January 29, 2005, in Helsinki, Finland by Eero Saunamäki, recorder, Anna Saunamäki, recorder and Nelli Kettunen, guitar

  • First performance (b) on June 17, 2012, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by Amsterdam Collage Ensemble (ACE): Sarah Jeffery, recorder, Eva Gemeinhardt, recorder, Anna Stegmann, recorder, Anna voor de Wind, clarinet, Ryoko Imai, percussion, Brian Archinal, percussion, Konradin Herzog, cond.

During the ancient Greek and Roman periods, a double reed instrument called aulos was popular, especially within the Dionysian Cult. The sound of aulos was considered unsettling and wild. Plato banned it for being barbaric and unfitting to his ideal state. In this work, the players play recorder pairs, like imitating the ancient aulos. Some instruments are tuned a quarter tone lower to give a restless sound. Gradually denser and denser beats of tam-tam give ritualistic character to the work. TR, 2005

bottom of page