Philomelos was co-commissioned by Resonant Bodies Festival and National Sawdust. It was composed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, workshopped in New York City and at Mount Tremper Arts, and completed in November of 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Philomelos (literally, “lover of song”) is a piece about communicating with different parts of our inner self after a traumatic event and learning to articulate our pain with the greater world. The sand in the piece is symbolic of the multitude of our stories and inner “selves,” the transference of histories from one to another; sand is a palimpsest onto which we write story after story (or even the same story again and again). At the core of the piece is Shakespeare’s Lavinia (Titus Andronicus), who, after being raped and mutilated, learns to name her perpetrators by tracing in the sand. This communication method is inspired by Ovid’s Philomela, who, after a similar tragedy, tells her story by weaving it onto a tapestry. Lucy Dhegrae tells her own story through sound, body, space, interaction, and video, but Osnat Netzer is also able to communicate her story through Lucy, Pala, and Amy. The interactions between the performers are inspired by Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), in which the patient investigates different parts of her Self and learns to self-lead even her helpless or self-abusive parts through compassionate inquiry.