Icons were still a major inspiration to me in the 1990s. With Mother Thekla I worked on We Shall See Him as He Is . The Bridegroom services of Holy Week had made a great impression on me, and I tried to weave their essence into a single large scale piece:
“Thy bridal chamber Lord I see, Yet I have no fitting garment that I may enter there.”
The whole work is a series of icons depicting the life of Christ.
In 1990, all of a sudden I dreamt music that I could barely hear. It became my second string quartet, The Last Sleep of the Virgin. It came to me just before I went in for major heart surgery.
Apocalypse is a thundering vision of the end. I wrote this with Mother Thekla, with texts which she culled from Revelation. It was composed in Greece in 1992, and is a monolithic work. Listening to it again, I can hear the influence of Messian and strangely Bruckner, whose 9th symphony has so profoundly moved me recently.
The birth of our first child, Theodora, in 1993 was followed by a torrent of music, notably Lets Begin Again, Akhmatova Songs and Agraphon. Lets Begin Again is based on the apocryphal Gospel of the dormition of the Mother of God. The music was described in newspapers as ‘magical, serene, dreamlike and beyond comedy or tragedy’. Agraphon is a much more succinct but apocalyptic work based on a dark poem by Sikelianos written during the devastating Athenian Autumn of 1941.
During the 1990s, I wrote amongst other works, The Toll Houses, a metaphysical pantomime, The Hidden Face, Eternity’s Sunrise, Fall & Resurrection and Sameveda. The last piece shows the enormous enthusiasm and interest in Indian music at this time, and I remember listening obsessively to tapes of the Dagar brothers. These new interests were outside Mother Thekla’s spiritual orbit, and our creative relationship grew apart.
One of the last works to be inspired entirely by Orthodoxy is also the most purely byzantine that I ever composed: Lamentations & Praises. The seven-hour vigil The Veil of The Temple is the key work marking a change in direction, written at the turn of the century.