Georgia Kalodiki


Vavel (2007)

for 12 mixed voices

Duration: 8 min

Vavel PDF

Commissioned by Solitonia vocal ensemble this piece is a music metaphor based on the story of the Tower of Babel. The gradually confusion in people's language is depicted as an increase in harmonic density and complexity of contrapuntal lines. The text is based on the Bible, gradually translated during the piece into a mixture of different languages (Maori, Cebuano, Zoulou, Niger-Congo, Latin, Japanese etc).

According to Genesis Chapter 11 of the Bible, the Tower of Babel was a tower built to reach the heavens by a united humanity. God, observing the arrogance of humanity, resolves to confuse the previously uniform language of humanity, thereby preventing any such future efforts. The tower's destruction is not described in Genesis. An interpretive account of the story explains the tower's destruction in terms of mankind's deficiency in comparison to God: within a religious framework, mankind is considered to be an inherently flawed creation dependent on a perfect being for its existence, and thus the construction of the tower is a potentially hubristic act of defiance towards the God who created them.