Kari Besharse


Omphalos (2008)

2-channel electroacoustic music (13:00)

World Premiere: October 24, 2008, University of Illinois Student Composers Concert, Smith Hall, Urbana, Illinois





In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel,” and the center of the world according to Greek mythology. According to legend, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly around the world and meet at its center, the “omphalos” of the world. To mark this central point, a stone monument was placed at the oracle in Delphi. In this piece, the idea of a center point was translated into personal terms. In my piece, Omphalos represents a search for mental peace and the connection between outer and inner worlds. The work is in the form of a journey from the far reaches of the universe, through the dissonant, active earth with its traffic and noise, into the soul, where hopefully one can find peace. However, cognitive dissonance always exists between outer and inner worlds. There is always an interference pattern, or distortion that makes true inner peace perpetually ambiguous.

“To ourselves . . . new paganism . . . omphalos.”

– James Joyce, Ulysses

To request a CD or audio files for a performance of the work, please contact me directly at karibesharse@hotmail.com.


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