*** ONAR (LP-album) was my 1st recorded work. Later, it appeared also in a CD together with my 2nd LP-album BEATRICE.
*** All LYRICS are translated in ENGLISH, in this web-page, and are excerpts of poems by HARIKLIA VASSILIOU.
You may see them just below, along with some info on the style and the aesthetics of these compositions.
*** You may listen to ALL TRACKS – just click on titles.
music compositions and leaflet’s sketches
recorded and remixed
Vangelis Katsoulis (studio Spectrum)
“ONAR” is a composition for electronic instruments and voice.
This work participated and was awarded a prize at the “SOUNDSCAPE” Pan-European Competition of Musical Composition and Technology (Norwich, Great Britain).
In the songs of “ONAR” the forms are freely developed.
Each song is rather a collection (a chain) of “images” with different “moods” and emotions, following the different moods of the emotional scenario of the lyrics.
This rather “impressionistic” style of seeing the song form is a field that interested me very much and in several of my compositions after “ONAR” I attempted to structure my own aesthetic proposal.
In each image of the songs there is sometimes voice and orchestra and other times solo orchestra.
So, the orchestra in “ONAR” is BY NO MEANS in the role of a simple accompanying sound.
Voice and orchestra integrate in an amalgam of complex melodic lines .
The sections of solo orchestra are autonomous stand-alone short pieces on presenting instrumental variations of the themes of the song.
Moreover, “ONAR” It is the start of a personal exploration and proposal for the use of music technology means, so that “…an active relation between the composer and technology is maintained, as the composer, integrates in his intentions these amazing tools in surprising ways, referring to different aesthetic styles and without being limited in any technocratic framework…” (from a review of “ONAR” when it was present in “SOUNDSCAPE”).
This proposal about the use of electronics serving the creative intentions and not limiting them (see below, the leaflet note), was much further developed in my next works, “MUSICA PRACTICA” and “PHOENISSES”.
This music represents my initial attempts (since 1987) to incorporate the possibilities of music technology into my composiitons.
The whole of the orchestral part, the sounds, and the manner of playing of the instruments (the “interpretatio”) have been generated by and structured in the computer. Still, they provided in the final result the necessary space for the human voice.
In “ONAR” I ‘have used electronics in musical styles in which usually electronics are not used: musical styles with no constant beat, with a lot of rhythmic fluctuations – “accelerandi”, “ritenuti”, “rubati”, etc.
I wanted to experiment with what these tools can do, how expressively can they be used in a lyric work.
As far as the style of the pieces is concerned, I opted for “references”, as a kind of tribute to various kinds of music that appeal to me. So the pieces contain references to the “sound – style” of Hadzidakis, Debussy, De Falla, folk songs, classical song, romantic period, etc.
As for the lyrics, their musical setting was based on the concept of a kind of dramatic “staging”.
So, I divided each Hariklia’s poem into shorter parts, “images”, which are narrated and “staged” by voice and orchestra.
Neither of these two elements may be said to play a more important part than the other – this is why I prefer to call “ONAR” a work for voice and orchestra, rather than a collection of songs.
This frequently resulted in strange, unusual forms.
Each piece can be viewed as a sequence, a “collage” of tiny, diverse parts of music connected under the framework characterising each piece.
This was another challenge by “ONAR”: to blend conceptually and aesthetically in each piece these little and different between them parts of music in a coherent whole.
Together with Katerina we decided to use her wonderful and many possibilities offering voice in a rather modest way.
We also decided to keep her interpretation out of emotional exaggerations, so that the balance between the voice and music roles would be better served.