Completed in 2002 for solo electric cello, Tonoi IV is the fourth in an ongoing series of works for solo performers. There are currently seven pieces in the collection. During the course of writing these solo works, I have established certain characteristics common to all the pieces in the series. The pieces are episodic and abstract in nature, having no particular idea or “program” attached to them. Although presented in one contiguous movement, the works are divided into clear sections. Each piece is dedicated and written for a specific performer. In the case of this work, I have written and dedicated the work to my friend Craig Hultgren. I write these pieces in a linear fashion – beginning with the first measure and writing straight through to the last with no insertions of sections; composing a later section before an earlier section, etc. It is typical for the works to use and develop the harmonic and melodic materials presented at the beginning of a given work throughout the piece. Each section of the respective pieces moves further away from the original statement. Succeeding sections may seem to have been arrived at in a logical manner, however, they move the listener further and further away from the opening motivic and/or harmonic environment originally presented. The game that I set-up up for myself is to figure out a way to return to the opening material no matter how far I have wandered. In all of the Tonoi works, I am also interested in writing as idiomatically as possible for the respective solo instrument. Because the soloist performs on an electric instrument, effects processing is also used extensively throughout the composition.
Nickitas Demos (b. 1962, Boulder, Colorado) holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Music in Composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His principal teachers were Donald Erb (1927-2008) and Roger Hannay (1930-2006).
Commissions include works for the Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Chamber Players, the Georgia Music Teachers Association and the National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a MacDowell Fellowship (2012), Grand Prize in the 2004 Millennium Arts International Competition for Composers, Grand Prize in the 2005 Holyoke Civic Symphony Composition Competition, Birmingham and Atlanta Prizes in the Hultgren 2005 Solo Cello Works Biennial Composition Competition and 16 ASCAP Awards among others. Demos’ works have been programmed at festivals, symposia and conferences including the 43rd Dimitria Festival (Thessaloniki, Greece); the 18th International Review of Composers (Belgrade Serbia); the International Festival – Institute at Round Top (TX); the Ernest Bloch Music Festival (Newport, OR); the New Music Forum Festival of Contemporary Music (San Francisco, CA); and at National and Regional Conferences of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) and the College Music Society (CMS). His music is self-published through Sylvan Lake Press (ASCAP) and has been recorded by Albany Records, MSR Classics and Capstone Records.
Professor of Composition and Coordinator of Composition Studies at the Georgia State University School of Music, Demos is the Founder and Artistic Director of the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for the MacDowell Colony and is the Musical Director of the Greek Islanders, an ensemble he founded in 1982 specializing in Greek folk music. For more information, visit: http://nickitasdemos.com.