Apollo has many incarnations. Last summer, for instance, I was working as a fisherman in Southeast Alaska's Cross Sound. One of the boats in the fishing fleet was called "Apollo," and that was the seed for my "Apollo Metamorphoses." I can only speculate as to why the boat was named "Apollo," but it triggered associations that found representations in my composition.

To me, Apollo is the Greek god as depicted playing the phorminx or lyre with a golden plektron. These fantastic ancient Greek instruments make me think of others like the aulos, the syrinx, the salpinx, or kymbala, and seistra, all of which have left traces on the folk musics of the Balkans.

Another association of "Apollo" to me has to do with my upbringing in Germany where I encountered the god in a form transfigured by German Romanticism. In Friedrich Nietzsche's "The Birth of Tragedy" Apollo represents one side of the duality of the Apollonian and the Dionysian principles. The form of "Apollo Metamorphoses" is inspired by Friedrich Hölderlin's poem "Der Sonnengott," in which he depicts sunset, night, and sunrise as metaphors for the departure, absence, and return of the God of music, poetry, intellectual inquiry, etc.

These and more associations with "Apollo" have shaped the musical material of this composition, which has been arranged as an instrumental cantus firmus madrigal.

(Stefan Hakenberg, 2007)