Jánnos Eolou - Blog

Tangos, Borges, Labyrinth…

Theseus could not know that at the other end of the labyrinth was the other labyrinth, that of time, and that Medea was in a predetermined place. The ‘mitos’ is lost. So is the maze. This ‘mitos’, this myth we may find and lose in an act of faith, in a harmony, in a dream, in philosophy or simply in the essential happiness.’ Borges, Knossos 1984 Tango is a dipole (male-female) dance.Although when it was created it was usually danced by two men – waiting in the parlors of the brothels – the male / female role was always distinct.

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Recording of the Tangos of the Magic Reality – December 2022…

Sofia, Bulgaria, December 2022.The center of an old city with a new facade, of a society that carries a heavy and dark history with specific bright ‘parts’. Music education is fortunately one of the brightest. The level of musicians and orchestral ensembles is excellent, and this is why European cinema very often records soundtracks in Sofia, or Skopje now, Prague earlier, and so on.I have been recording with orchestral ensembles in Sofia since 1996, and has collaborated with the best musicians and orchestras, – National Radio Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra, the Quarto Quartet, Sofia Soloists – but also soloists such as

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1922: A Century in Ionia, Thrace and Pontus.

I was asked to compose music for the commemorative tribute organized by Thessaloniki International Trade Fair-Exhibition in September 2022. A tribute to the events that 100 years ago led hundreds of thousands of Greeks from Asia Minor, Pontus, Thrace to leave their lands and to run away as refugees to Greece It is a video installation, a ‘memory walk’ in two video projection rooms, on screens with a total width of 32 meters. I find the project extremely interesting as well as difficult. In the cinema, I compose music based on a script, most often fictional. The actors consciously expose

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Unsurpassable Beauty

It is only in the 2nd half of the 20th century till today that beauty is so underestimated in art, almost demonized. No one is allowed to create something beautiful if he wants to be taken seriously. In painting because it resembles naïf and realistic painting culture of the Eastern European iron curtain, in music because it reminds of folk and pop music To be ‘serious’ it must be ‘strange’, almost ugly. Beauty is not only an image, a sound. It is a way. A path. A tendency. A heroic bold statement, a resistance against the entropic forces of universe,

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What is the purpose of Art today?

Have you ever wondered “why do we need Art today?” – or even better “do we need Art today?” Art, in the 19th and even early 20th century used to be associated with everyday activities like ‘entertainment’: a gathering at some friend’s living room or a collector’s exhibition room or a gallery later on, a theatrical play maybe. With books it is a bit different because people read for many reasons: information, stories, knowledge, science, you name it. But why do we go to a gallery of modern art or listen to music? Is there place in our society and

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Nikos Kazantzakis, a Romantic

I am often asked about the people who influenced me most. And I often answer, ‘Puccini and Wagner’, and just after the two masters, Rimsky Korsakov. Puccini when it comes to melody and drama, Wagner when it comes to harmonic structure but also to his ideals about ‘Total Theatre’ and Rimsky Korsakov for his orchestration manuals, the great sailor who so generously helped other great Russian composers. But when it comes to all the rest, when it comes to the way I started thinking about my life, my role in it, the beginning of the ‘path that never ends…’ the

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La Forêt des Vœux – The Forest of Oaths

The Forest is a magic grid, a place where one is fully immersed, surrendered, a place that bares codes and secrets, incomprehensible connections, such as the nervous system inside our body has. In such a Forest, within our sympathetic and parasympathetic system, in a place residing amongst thoughts and feelings, subconscious projections, suppressed fears but also dreams and wishes, we seek to “live” with a conscious focus to the meaning of the sanctuary, where our inner self blurs its limits to the ‘other’, the ‘exterior’, where ‘language’ is not the tool of thought… There lies the ‘Forest of the Oaths’,

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While working on the Corpus Aeternum composition I strived to look upon Human Body as a ‘part of a structure’, that also holds, imbeds the ‘Whole’, as Hippocrates suggested. The Eternal Body that houses ‘the Whole’, ‘the One’, denotes, decodes it, allows it to interact but also provides with a solid reason to transcend its mortal nature. And trying to dive into this mental structure which I try not to think of it but to ‘be it’ for the time I am composing, I composed a work that consists of 20 parts for mixed Choir and Piano. The reason being

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CORPUS AETERNUM A new composition for Mixed Choir and Piano More than a year ago I was asked to create a new work on/about/around the theme of Hippocrates, by my home town, Larissa (Greece). Not a lot of people know that Hippocrates, who was born in the island of Kos, spent his last 10 years and died in Larissa. The idea is to promote this through art, music, conventions and so on. Hence, a new work on Hippocrates… But then… who is Hippocrates? After reading a lot about him I came to the obvious conclusion that everybody was trying to

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Why do we trust simplicity?

A music theme is powerful, direct, understood, loved, remembered when it is simple! From nursery songs to Doctor Zhivango’s main theme, from Beethoven’s two notes in 5th symphony to Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, simplicity prevails! Who could argue with Einstein’s beautiful equation e=mc2? It resembles Newton’s first law f=ma. Simple, universal, powerful. Like life itself! Had Einstein’s law had 12 elements and advanced mathematics, everybody would question it, because it would be too pretentious… Because we do not trust complicated things that try to describe something ‘Big’… like music tries to portay when talking about love, joy, death, loss, loneliness

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The myth of music being ‘in front of/above’ the film

I have heard it so many times in my life, I just can not stay quiet anymore. First I’ve heard it from mediocre directors: ‘the music was far too important than the film’, or ‘the music took over the film’. It is a nice way to say that the film was bad – no? Now, I hear it even by famous composers: ‘I try to be part of the film and not ‘above’ it, not get in the way…’ Am I the only one who believes this is a total crap? Would you say something like this for the leading

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Going from A to B!

All my life I am trying to go from A to B, and B keeps changing, drifting further away, becoming A suggesting another B further down the road. Kavafis said that we should wish the distance from A to B to be as long as possible, because it is not the destination that counts but the traveling process. I once read an interview by Vangelis saying that he is happy where ‘he is’ and his definition of happiness was just that: not feeling the need to go to any other point, having reached point B definitively. I respect that and

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Why do we need stories?

Many times I have been asking myself this. Why do we like to hear (or watch) a good story? Is it because we are curious to see what happens in the end? But you have to be interested in the story before that, otherwise you wouldn’t care. Is it because we like to be ‘surprised’, ‘scared’, is it because we like to ‘safely’ live the adventures the hero goes through and feel the excitement without risking? Is it because we ‘learn’ from all this? Absolutely. I could go on and on. Self-explanatory you may say. True. But all the above

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The next level for VST instruments

Have you ever wondered why VST instruments never sound like the real orchestras? I know you will tell me about all the subtle interpretations and phrasing of each musician which are not able to reproduce, all the processing into the musicians’ mind that changes from legato to spiccato, to glissando and so on, all the unique bowing tension each of the virtuoso player brings, and you are absolutely right. But even if we go to the next level of programming all this into a library instrument, even it can ‘foresee’ the melody, or ‘learn’ how to do it, even render

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The Ideal orchestra

Orchestras have a long story and has been changing their size, formation and tone, if I may say, over the centuries. Modern orchestras, mainly film orchestras that I mostly deal with, can be almost of any formation you can think of, including the traditional but also un-conventional instruments. We all have an idea of the orchestra as a formation though, as an instrument of its own. Undoubtedly different schools of composition have given more prominent roles to different sections of the orchestra, with modern masters of orchestration balancing them in a remarkable way. I must admit that I find orchestration

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Composing for the Time Squatters Saga

For quite some time now I’ve been working on the Time Squatters Saga. I’ve written the novel and composed the ‘Book Soundtrack’. A Book Soundtrack is basically a soundtrack that musically describes the scenes of the Book as well as the characters, the overall mood and more. In each chapter of the book there is a suggested track you may want to listen to, and a link to this track from the soundtrack. Creating the characters in my mind as a writer is one thing. Creating them as ‘musical entities’ is a totally different. I always believe that music in

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What is a personal voice in music composition?

We all agree that technology has advanced our lives in ways unimaginable a few years ago. One wouldn’t even want to think how life would be without the web, tablets, GPS, tweets every couple of seconds, a sequencer for composers or Sibelius (if you are still one of us who actually write notes on paper…) Back in the 18th or the 19th century one would have to wait for a concert in order to listen to some music. Later on, the wealthy ones could afford a gramophone and a few records per year maybe. Now, you just go to YouTube,

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How do you compose music?

If I had a ‘facebook like’ every time I get asked this question… Of course this is only hypothetical, since I do not have a facebook page. When I try to answer, although I state that I can’t answer the question, I slowly start to get an idea myself of how it should be done. You see, music is a universal language, meaning that it made out of the fabric the universe is made of. It is not artificial. Of that I am certain. The only artificial part of the whole process of composing music is when it gets ‘infected’

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INTERSTELLAR – A great use of Dynamics

By dynamics we mean the general perceived loudness of music (or sound in general). It is common knowledge, something like second nature in every one working with sound these last decades the ‘loudness war’. This is a war of trying to fit more ‘perceived loudness’ into the digital world by over-compressing the hell out of everything, so that it sounds more impressive, more massive, it cuts through the overall sound effect madness of the films, etc. There are millions of articles about it, some of them trying to teach you how to do it, and some trying to talk sense

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Sound, part of nature…

How often do we have the chance to be lost far in a forest, completely isolated by the rest of the world, the noise of the cities and modern life? Not as often as I would like, I admit. But for the last few days, I had the luck to experience it to the maximum, lost in the forests and slopes of mount Olympus. What is astonishing is how fast one feels part of it, part of nature. It is as if our body keeps memories of other lives, when our everyday life was close to nature and part of

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The rhythm in editing is what makes music

Have you ever thought what makes music and image stick together? What makes us perceive it as if it was always there? I guess most people, although they know it isn’t true, they could be convinced that music was present on the live shooting set at some point or another of certain films. Is it because our mind glues together all incidents that happen at the same time? Is this what makes it so believable? Technically speaking, yes. But some times it is just happens, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it is magical… What makes it magical? Obviously a great

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People are unhappy because there is not enough music in our lives

When I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s, as people of my age can remember, music was all around us. The glorious radio days were an introduction to this marvellous universe for most of the people. I remember having to rush home from school to listen to a specific radio producer who would play all the new rock releases before anyone else, or listen to experts on classical or jazz music tell you all about the recordings they were playing down the who the sound engineer was, or where the drummer was playing before this group and

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