In the Clouds

a duet

Voice and Vibraphone | Voice and Piano | Flute and Vibraphone | Flute and Piano

Premiered by Natasa Hadjiandreou on the vibraphone and Eva Stavrou on the flute
Cyprus, June 2021

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The voice is for Mezzo-Soprano but let me know if you want a transposition and I will gladly do it for you.

for Olivia

Duration: approx. 5min 30sec


Voice and Vibraphone (beaters, bow) | Voice and Piano | Flute and Vibraphone (beaters, bow) | Flute and Piano

The original lyrics for this song are written in Greek by my dad. I’m not sure to whom the poem refers to, who has Spring in her eyes, as written in the opening verse, but when I read it I think of my daughter, Olivia. It is a poem of a delicate kind of love, or rather, the person receiving the love appears delicate and perhaps even fragile in the eyes of the poet who seems to be observing from a distance. It could be an uneven love, like indeed the love of a parent towards their baby. The baby just “is” but the parent becomes a kind of vehicle for the baby to live the most amazing life ever lived. There is pain in this poem, as love can be painful and this statement has become common place. However the pain experienced here is not about some kind of unfulfilled love but the “over-filled” if we can call it that. He looks at the person he worships in the eyes and his heart breaks into a thousand pieces as he starts dancing in the clouds [with the clouds exact translation].

This piece is set in a general piano dynamic. I wanted to capture what seems like a delicate and fragile energy between the relationship of two people that adore each other (even though it is not stated in the poem I think the poet and muse love each other) but is in fact in the quietness and stillness that the poet experiences the most powerful feeling. Perhaps the poet or singer or flutist want to remain very discreet to not disturb their muse.

You will find ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) influences in this piece and a huge influence for this has been Hans Abrahamsen and Barbara Hannigan.

What I find from extremely quiet settings are all the little sounds and echoes that are often overlooked (underheard?) in louder settings, as they awake delicate sensations that trigger nerves in our body and mind. To get the feeling of someone gently touching the back of your neck with only their fingertips.

General Instructions:

This piece is to be played at extremely quiet volumes, from both performers. Extremely quiet can mean different things depending on various factors such as instrument abilities, techniques used and room or hall the performance takes place. It is important to adjust accordingly in every situation but respecting the overall theme of the piece which is to be played at all the shades of piano dynamic.


This is written for Mezzo-Soprano and the range is from middle C# to high A with 1 ledger line: C#4 – A5.

The lyrics change between the “do-da, la la” syllables and actual words. The words have to stay as they are. The syllable can change according to each singers prefereces.

If you want this to be written for a different vocal range then do let me know and we shall make it happen!

Baby Stroke and Guiro Effect:

Percussionists feel free to experimenting on various surfaces of the vibraphone to find the suitable sound for the Baby Stroke and the Guiro effect, and then for bar 28 to get the “hovering but sounding” technique.

All three of these techniques rely on the the visual combonent as well. Sometimes just looking at something moving we can imagine the sound it makes because we have seen it or something similar so many times giving the impression that the produced sound is a bit louder than it actually is.

Do let me know if you feel they will be completely lost in your performance hall and we can make different arrangements.

Program note:

It is odd, but sometimes we love someone that it hurts so much. Love hurts, even when our loved one is still there. I know… it’s odd but only if you have experienced it you would know. You love them so much, you don’t want to make any unnecessary sounds or movements in case you interfere in their song. Their beautiful, magical song…

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