Photo: Gerasimos Domenikos /Γεράσιμος Δομένικος FosPhotos

Mystery 2 | Clock Tower Voices: Sacred Way and Elefsinian Testament by Angelos Sikelianos


One of Angelos Sikelianos’ most important poems, the Sacred Way and excerpts from one of his rarest works, the Elefsinian Testament, will be performed live by renowned actress Lydia Koniordou, under the Clock in the emblematic Archaeological Site of Elefsina.

The performance will be visible from the Nikolaidou Pedestrian Walkway.

Lydia Koniordou

A series of original audio performances, readings and interpretations of landmark texts of Greek literature by distinguished artists, mark Mystery 2 | Clock Tower Voices, organized by Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture. Coloring the Clock, the monumental landmark of Elefsina that looms above the hill of the Archaeological Site, the Clock Tower Voices are introducing their third edition on Sunday, November 21 at 16:30, welcoming a distinguished interpreter of Greek texts, Lydia Koniordou. In a special recitation, visible from the Nikolaidou Pedestrian Walkway, the artist—with her characteristic extraordinary sensitivity—will breathe life into Angelos Sikelianos’ masterful poem the Sacred Way, as well as excerpts from his Elefsinian Testament. Furthermore, as part of a musical dialogue with composer Takis Farazis, she will reveal aspects of the history and mythology of the poet’s favorite city, Elefsina, and the emblematic road that leads to it.

“As symbols are not possible, except where life, whether secret or manifest, is conceived in its highest inner duration.” 

Takis Farazis

The connection of Sikelianos with Eleusis began at a young age when the poet had a vision of a procession of hierophants heading towards the sanctuary of Demeter while he was standing on the slopes of Mount Egaleo. His emotional and ideological ties with the city were consolidated years later, through his regular visits to literary meetings and dinners organized by Georgios Domestichos and his wife Amalia. Also indicative of his connection with the city was his choice to perform his wedding with Anna Karamani, the fruit of their scandalous love, in the small altar of the sacred temple of Elefsina, Agelastos Petra (Mourning Rock).

Angelos Sikelianos wrote the Sacred Way in 1935, ascribing mythology to Elefsina, just as this place had attributed mythology to the poet’s own work. On the road leading from Athens to Elefsina, following the ancient processions of Elefsinians, the poet speaks of man’s redemption from oppression and pain, through the “symbolic event.” He uses his own characteristic language to send a comforting message of resurrection and triumph of life, regarding the desolation and enslavement that led human beings, through their folly, to subjugate Mother Earth, the symbol of motherhood and love. Sikelianos’ Sacred Way is a poem-vision on the day of salvation and redemption, when the human soul will be reconciled with the eternal laws of life and nature.

Lena Bozaki

In November and December 1935, Angelos Sikelianos composed four lectures, the Elefsinian Testament, and presented them at a spot among the pines on the Sacred Way and at the Telestḗrio of the Archaeological Site of Eleusis. His lectures are notable for their volume and their evocativeness, highlighting the city as a universal symbol against authoritarianism, as a sacred place of reunion with Nature and Mother Earth, while revealing the poet’s intense interest in the Elefsinian Mysteries. The Elefsinian Testament was published in 1936 in the magazine Nea Grammata (New Letters). 

“What, now the times are ripe: and time, which haunts everything, melts the silence of the ages like snow.” Elefsina, November 2021. The place of worship of a goddess-Mother. The circle of life. Time—itself. Silent, ever-moving, all-taming time. The present. 86 years later. The words of the poet are heard again in their rightful place, Elefsina. 

ORDINARY MYSTERIES | Mystery 2 | “Clock Tower Voices ”

The action “Clock Tower Voices” started in October 2020 with Kariofillia Karampeti bringing to life Persephone by Yiannis Ritsos, directed by Michail Marmarinos, and continued in May 2021, with Giannis Vogiatzis performing excerpts from the revolutionary text of the Hellenic Nomarchy by Anonymous the Greek, directed by Viktor Adrittis

The Clock Tower Voices, an action that has now acquired a character of regular periodicity, have the ultimate goal of becoming a permanent reoccurring celebration for the city. The activation of the landmark of the Clock, both symbolically and literally, places the action at the heart of Elefsina, while the pedestrian walkway next to the archaeological site functions as a place of public meeting for residents and visitors, the spectators of the action.

Recitation, Text adaptation, Direction: Lydia Koniordou
Musical composition, Improvisation, Accordeon, Piano, Percussion: Takis Farazis
Stage participation, Assistant Director: Lena Bozaki
Idea/Text proposal: Victor Ardittis
Sound: Costas Bokos – Studio 19
Tele-direction: Leonidas Konstantarakos – Alaska Films
Sound equipment: Marios Kariotis
Production Company: TooFarEast 

Performance Info:
Date and time: Sundauy, November 21, 2021, 16:30
Venue: Clock, Archaeological Site of Eleusis
Duration: 40 minutes

A warm thanks to Lydia Koniordou for her generous voluntary participation in the Clock Tower Voices.

Access to Elefsina:

-Via car or motorcycle via Attiki Odos or Athinon Avenue, just a 25 minute drive from the Athens city center.
-Via bus (lines 845 and 871 from Piraeus, line 876 from the “Agia Marina” metro station and line 878 from Acharnai).
-Via the suburban railway (Magoula Station and then bus line 863).
-Via KTEL (intercity public transport bus service -> line Megara – Nea Peramos – Eleusis; starting point at Asomaton Square, Thission)