The verb τέμνω, at the basis of the word τέμενος, in ancient Greek means “to cut” and it specifically relates to the idea of marking a piece of land to be officially assigned to kings or destined for the building of a sanctuary. In psychoanalysis the term “temenos” conceptualizes therapeutic containment and defines a symbolic space that is fundamental to protect the centre of the personality from being influenced or damaged from the outside. In Jung’s interpretation, the “temenos” is a spellbinding mental space where the individual can operate in the freedom of his mind, a sacred place of spiritual, emotional and psychological transformation.
Temenos has been conceived as a circular itinerary, symbolically expressed in the score by the return to the starting pitch, the D3 given to horn 1. In Temenos, the main thematic idea is the “tuba theme,” introduced in mm. 4-11, that synthesizes, in its intervallic structures, the main melodic and harmonic materials used in this score.
The score features some basic ideas and gestures that have a dramaturgic and communicative function: the idea of the one, the beginning, expressed in the unison or the repetition of a note; the presence of emerging panels, realized through addition and subtraction of masses; the idea of contrasts, expressed through abrupt “landslides” and intervention of percussion; steady areas of suspension and meditation; processes of gradual saturation, through the flourishing of the unison into a cluster.
Even though, in Temenos, the genesis and elaboration of the materials are based on consistent rational procedures, the interpretative key of this work is in its dramaturgic and communicative strategies, meant to establish a contact with the audience and offer an emotional and spiritual journey.
Temenos has been premiered in Miami, on February 9th 2013, at the Gusman Concert Hall, by the Frost Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sleeper.