Talos Dreams

Now booking for Spring 2021 for streamed performances (Zoom, Twitch, etc.). Live and pre-recorded video options available. Run time: 30 min, followed by Q&A.

Premiering in the Spring of 2021, composer Costas Dafnis creates a new musical work that explores the concept of made versus born. Inspired by the real and imagined automatons of ancient Greece, this multimedia piece features the ghostplate, a novel metallic instrument he built himself and is designed by Bay Area improviser Tom Nunn. Its sonic palette — atmospheric, echoing, wispy, and metallic — sounds remarkably electronic for an acoustic instrument. The ghostplate creates a soundscape that is at once familiar and extraordinary.

Talos Dreams takes its cues from Gods and Robots, a book by Stanford scholar Adrienne Mayor, revealing that the earliest concepts of automatons, robots and artificial intelligence can be traced back to ancient Greece — first in mythology, and later in self-moving devices and robots. The line between human and not human, born vs. built, is an AI concept that’s not only recent, but in fact thousands of years old.

** A sneak preview of the piece will be featured in the Hot Air Music Festival on March 7, 2021. Details to come. **

Talos Dreams is commissioned by the Greek Chamber Music Project and supported in part by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It appears on the album Synchronos: New Greek Voices, set to be released in Spring 2021. Learn more


Costas Dafnis, ghostplate
Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe
Ariel Wang, violin
Lewis Patzner, cello