Silence of Kharon

In Greek mythology, Kharon was a ferryman of Hades who carried souls of the deceased across the river Styx that separated the world of the living from the world of the dead. As a psychopomp his task was not to judge those which he carried, but just to guide them.

Silence of Kharon for piano, a work commissioned by Eriko Takahashi, draws its inspiration from this world of afterlife. This piece consists of two, somewhat violent Kharon-sections alternating with three, more contemplative Silence-sections with many hidden messages. During this journey guided by Kharon, starting from the funeral bells, one experiences the need to think one’s own past life and see all the good and bad things, hope, love and pain, and finally find and see the serene balance – or the truth – between them. But what is the truth?

Section after section the sound of piano turns to more and more alienated from the ordinary piano sound and thus leads away from this world. At the same, this work is also a journey to the more silent side of the piano sound, ending up to harmonies created with harmonics.

The biggest moon of Pluto – Charon – one of the most silent and coldest places one could imagine, has also been named after the ferryman of river Styx.

Eriko Takahashi, to whom this piece is also dedicated to, premiered this piece in Vienna in 11th of May, 2022.

Drawing after Silence of Kharon by Eriko Takahashi
Published with the permission of the author