“Homoousios,” literally translated in English as “of the same substance, or essence,” is the Greek word used at the Council of Nicea to describe the nature of Christ; that he was “of the same substance” as God. This council was called in 325 CE to develop clarity in relation to the views of the Arians, which thought of Christ as “like [as opposed to ‘same’] in substance” with God. This controversy – and the doctrine realized out of it, of which the word “Homoousios” represents – is best summed up in the idea that Christ was both fully God and fully human in nature. This piece explores this hypostasis of the Divine and the human – the “otherness” of two distinctly different natures becoming one (yet at the same time upholding the distinctiveness of divinity and humanity) – through multiple expressions.
The words taken from the first epistle of John in the New Testament: “[This is] He-who-came-by-water-and-blood,” (speaking of Christ) are spoken by a two-year old in the electronics. Water and blood speak of the duality of Christ’s nature; water representing His Divinity, and blood representing His humanity. Thus the rest of the electronics in their entirety are taken only from sounds generated by water flowing or striking objects and sounds generated by a tree (representing blood due to its associations with a cross). So through the dual nature of sounds in the electronics, each instrument’s timbre, form, and the play of key motivic figures between two instruments, Homoousios unifies contrast, reflecting the hypostatization of the Divine and the human.