The Byzantine Octopus

The Byzantine Octopus



Inspired by the Boston Byzantine Music Festival, the Orthodox Christian Network is featuring the outstanding exhibition of ecclesiastical beauty which, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers an opportunity for all people to experience the rapture of our Church’s Byzantine Music. Please join us in raising awareness for this beautiful exhibition of the Church and its traditions.

Father Ivan Moody says that the tentacles of Byzantine music stretch like an octopus into the sound of a wide spectrum of contemporary music. He believes that Byzantine chant is not only ecclesiastical but it is an artistic music that can grow and evolve. Much like Dr. Grammenos Karanos of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, who calls Byzantine Music the “Psaltic Art”, Father Ivan Moody is very well versed in the history of the Byzantine Music and how it has become the living inspiration for a variety of music including his own compositions and works.

Father Ivan’s talk “The Byzantine Octopus” was the beginning of this year’s Boston Byzantine Music Festival. Father Ivan Moody was extraordinarily impacted by Byzantine Music the first time he heard it and now he truly sees no difference between it and other forms of music in terms of an artistic perspective. Father Ivan Moody is a very accomplished composer and conductor who was born in London but he currently lives in Estoril, Portugal with his wife, the singer Susana Diniz Moody, and their children, Sebastian, Sofia, and Barbara. “Eastern liturgical chant has had a profound influence on his music, as has the spirituality and liturgy of the Orthodox Church. His music has been performed and broadcast all over Europe, in Japan, the USA and South America. Following the enormous success of Canticum Canticorum I, written for the Hilliard Ensemble and performed by them all over the world, in 1990 he won the Arts for the Earth Festival Prize for Prayer for the Forests, which was subsequently premièred by the renowned Tapiola Choir in Finland. One of his most important works to date is the oratorio Passion and Resurrection (1992), based on Orthodox liturgical texts.” You can find more information on Father’s impressive biography on his website.

The Boston Byzantine Music Festival was held at The First Church in Cambridge featuring “The Angel Cried” performance. For more information about the concert and other events of the Boston Byzantine Music Festival visit the Mary Jaharis Center website.


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About author

Dean Franck

Dean Franck is a first year student in the Master's of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.