Osmosis/Zymosis is a work of twenty minutes duration, for a mixed chamber ensemble (augmented “Pierrot ensemble”) comprising flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano and percussion. The underlying concept of the work is based on the integration into contemporary Western music practice of musical gestures derived from the Eastern Mediterranean tradition. The title consists of two scientific terms used to describe chemical and biological processes: “Osmosis” refers to the gradual absorption of one solution by another, and “Zymosis” refers to both the process of fermentation and the development or the spread of an infection.
These Greek words are also useful for the description of the blending of cultures and especially for individuals who face displacement or immigration. A related concept in anthropology would be the rite of passage, a ritualistic event that marks a person’s transition from one status to another. A music composition that incorporates elements transferred from one culture to another is even more than that. Both the process and the resulting work are steps towards musical maturity and openness. In many ways the integration of music elements from one culture into another is a glimpse to the future, which could be helpful in bridging cultural and aesthetic differences.
In this compositional project, a clear, balanced and intuitive combination of elements from both cultures is attempted. One of the things that I have learned through this experience is that this path is always inviting and endless for anyone who is willing to take one more step.