One Truth in the Way of Ectasy
scored for string quartet, percussion, solo soprano and electronics
duration 35 minutes
Ecstasy of Idealism
Cosmic Creation, Consciousness Formation
Eternal Echoes, Shadow Visions
The Other Side: Circle of Sorrow, Sadness and Suffering
Testimonies from people who have been in ecstasy show that a feeling of unity with the environment occurred and, in many cases, a great connection with nature was felt. These people were overwhelmed by emotions of happiness and joy accompanied by razor-sharp sensory perceptions: intense colors and bright harmony. It was as if time had frozen, as if they had entered a continuum where past and future coincided in the now.
In this work I have tried to highlight the different facets of ecstasy. It seems as if you are taken by surprise, as if a deeper insight is revealed to you, a world where everything seems connected, a divine truth, the way. That is the religious meaning of the state of ecstasy that we find in almost all polytheistic faiths, monotheistic religions, and indigenous religions. Because of its healing character, a search is sometimes made from that context through the use of mind-expanding substances. It is therefore no coincidence that in our secular society, the religious rites of the past are being replaced by festivals and raves where modified drugs provide the contemporary ecstatic experience.
But what if ecstasy becomes political? What if faith and belief arise in a corrupt context? What if an ideological conviction bewitches a nation? Isn't ecstasy blinding? The past has proven that there is nothing more dangerous than unconditional belief in one truth. There is no doubt that faith can give meaning to our existence, but it can also lead to pain and suffering. All the testimonies about ecstasy show that just about everyone wants to escape from the drabness of everyday life to that state of supreme harmony. But what if that harmony was created by hard drugs? Is the solution a cycle of more MDMA and stronger LSD? Who are the victims of ecstasy? And what is the perspective of those who have not been indoctrinated by one truth, whether it is in the context of religion, politics or simple escapism?
Choreography: Miguel Altunaga
Cast: Dancers of Opera Ballet Flanders
Orchestra: Casco Phil
Soprano: Theodosia Roussos
'One Truth in the Way of Ecstasy' is commissioned by Antwerp Spring Festival and will have its premiere in April 2025 at Handelsbeurs, Antwerp.
A Perusal score can be downloaded here: