Nadir (1994) is written for prepared guitar, a term usually associated with a piano in which certain objects have been placed on the strings in order to alter the conventional sound of the instrument. Many composers have written music for prepared piano, among them John Cage, who, according to Mr. Paraskevas, was the inspiration for his transferring of the same technique to the guitar.
It is quite possible that nobody has used this kind of technique on the guitar before. After experimenting with various materials, he decided on the use of two metal paper clips, which he puts at specific locations on the fingerboard, so that they best produce the desired sound effect, a sound both harmonic and percussive. Nadir suggests the lowest point, here associated with the notion of death.
The piece bears many programmatic references to the struggle between good and evil, life and death, musically portrayed in the persistent ostinato rhythms and the fragmented melodic phrases. Death cuts through in the form of an abrupt strike on the wood, the fingers continue to play but no sound is heard, until two more strikes make their movement stop. Little by little life and sound start again, but the final strike brings about the pessimistic message that fate and death predominate in the end. The piece ends with the inscription ...but sooner or later we live forever - a final optimistic touch.
Nadir was the outcome of continuous experimentation on the capabilities of the guitar as an instrument, and all the potential sound effects that one can draw from it.