New composition by Marko Koumoulas: Reincarnation Suite

Instrumentation: zheng, percussion, 2 erhu, zhonghu, cello
World premiere: Nov. 16, 2014 hatch Concert

The composition itself is divided into 6 movements. One movement is repeated with variations. Each movement represents a new reincarnation.

Movement 1 is considered the introduction of the piece. It introduces a theme that is played throughout the entire piece. This ultimately gives each movement a sense of continuity. There are also a few minor themes weaved between the movements. Each movement is separated by a bar line and a rehearsal mark.

Movement 2 represents the beginning of the “journey”. The reincarnation can be any sort of traveller, or perhaps an animal, migrating to new areas. What is important is that this movement is a transition of what is to come.

Movement 3 represents the reincarnation of a farmer. This is shown in the music by the many ostinato figures that keep piling up. This is supposed to represent the grueling, often repetitive, work a farmer has to do daily.

In movement 4, the music immediately changes pace into a fast and heroic theme. This movement represents the reincarnation of a warrior. A particular technique is played by the erhu, which gives off the sound of a horse neighing. This technique allows the listener to visualize the scene more clearly.

Movement 5 switches keys and represents the reincarnation of a butterfly. This movement is very expressive and is the only movement that is played fully in a major key.

The piece ends the way it began to symbolize a full cycle. This can be interpreted in many ways.

About Marko Koumoulas

Marko Koumoulas

Marko Koumoulas

Marko Koumoulas is a young, energetic, and versatile musician known for his quirky innovation, creativity, intriguing compositions, and dynamic stage presence. Known primarily as a composer, Marko is also a multi-instrumentalist. He has many years of experience playing the double bass, guitar, saxophone, and didgeridoo. His interest in the didgeridoo has developed into a deeper appreciation of Aboriginal culture and music. Marko was successful in developing didgeridoo notation for compositional purposes — a tall task in itself as no recognized standard for didgeridoo notation exists. Marko’s exposure to a wide variety of musical genres and traditions has provided him with a unique perspective on compositional elements and styles. After completing an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from York University just last year, Marko has had the privilege of studying composition and musical performance under Mike Cado, Matt Brubeck, Ed Wilson, David Lidov, Al Henderson, Lorne Lofsky, and Barry Elmes. Some of Marko’s notable compositions that have been performed and recorded are Ambush — a jazz composition for small ensemble; Two Step — an avant-garde composition for piano, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar; and Northern Lights — a composition for a world music ensemble.