Gorgon’s Head

for violin and piano

Camden Reeves

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for violin and piano

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Composer Camden Reeves
Year of Composition 2013
Duration ca.8'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cr2gh1


I – It’s Alive

II – Bioluminescent Medusoids

III – Slime

The Gorgon’s Head, Gorgonocephalus caputmedusae, is a basket star found at oceaneanic depths of 30 to 66000 feet. Basket Stars are close relatives of sea stars, or starfish. Like sea stars, the Gorgon’s Head has five main arms connected to a central disc. But with the Gorgon’s Head, these arms branch out further into a network of up to 5000 barbed tips that it uses to ensnare its prey. Like its namesake of Greek mythology, it is beautiful yet terrifying.

This weird creature provided the inspiration for this work for violin and piano. The relationship is more poetic than programmatic, but you should find in the music a similarly weird combination of both beauty and terror. Although in three separate movements, these movements share the same materials and together form one larger shape. That shape is one of deterioration, diffusion and decay. Energy levels are initially high and gradually dissipate.

Gorgon’s Head was premiered by Helen Tonge (violin) and Richard Whalley (piano) on 2 May 2013 at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester. The score is dedicated to my son Max, who celebrated his second birthday on that day.