This is the second part of the post of Alkinoos Ioannidis. The first part tells about his life and work till 1999, is at
The adventures of a Pilgrim
(Οι περιπέτειες ενός προσκυνητού-2003)
The title is of a religious book. It’s the diary of a Russian pilgrim from the 18th century who after having lost his wife, left his home to make a pilgrimage somewhere. When he finished, he didn’t return home but continued; he crossed vast distances, came from Russia to Greece and went to a monastery at Mount Athos. The book is about his course and his attempt to look deeper into pray. On his way out for the Holy Land he forgot his diary at the monastery. The diary was kept and found many years later, translated into Greek and published.
The first song, “The Pilgrim” (Ο Προσκυνητής) is just about the magical step that one can make for going out for the quest of love (of any kind) ;a spiritual need of every soul to keep search for love, never give up.
This title reflected a change in Alkinoos Ioannidis artistic view.” Here I observe life more than myself in it. Before this album I looked out, only from inside me…This gave birth to “The road, time and pain” and especially the “Weather Vane”, so I named it. A vane shows a direction of the wind but can never followed it, since it remains nailed to the same point on the roof. With the “Adventures of a pilgrim,” I attended a route, not necessarily mine. It contains less self-observation and more of the road. It’s like I got the camera in hand…”
The cover of this album, as all other albums,is a painting of his father-“The flaming cyclist “. The painting inspired Alkinoos to write a poem about passion that is been read by his brother Linos, who is a poet himself, with chamber music.
Alkinoos: “Seeing a cover of my father somewhere in the street, I hear the whole album… I have grown up in this art and for me it is a part of the songs themselves”
Afternoon under the tree (Απόγευμα στο δέντρο)
“This dreamy song is indeed inspired by a dream Alkinoos had.’A shepherdess was sitting under a tree with the herd scattered around her, on a slope. He knew her name. It was around the year 1400 somewhere in central Europe, likely in today’s Germany. She was wearing clothes of the era and her hair was in plaits. It was a spotless dream, without motion, like a photo of an intense moment… He was feeling the mountain air, the colors were bright and he knew the girl very well as if it was a person familiar to him. When he woke up came into his mind the words of Goethe (Faust) “Beautiful moments, do not pass away”… that is how he wrote this song”
It is a song for two voices, for the second Ioannidis uses sometimes big choir. Here the performance is intimate. The music goes from the old to the new and the link is the Cretan Lyra.
The years 2005-2006 brought with them many encounters with artists and “ordinary” people. Alkinoos and the singer Manolis Lidakis release an album with contemporary interpretation of theater music by Manos Hatzidakis. At the end of 2005 Alkinoos, completed with Miltiadis Papastamou a nine years survey of his homeland Cyprus folk songs. They recorded an album “From west to east “( Που Δύσην ως Ανατολήν ) and here is one song that I love very much. The beloved girl is like slender, fragrant and precious basil… (Ψηντρή βασιλικιά μου- no translation).
That year (2005) he became a student of the Russian composer Boris Tishchenko, studying composition with him at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. Reading some his words about this period shows his keen interest in people and culture:
“I had the luck to go to the country of Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Sostakovich, Akhmatova (poet) and Tarkovsky (film director) in an important age for me, at a time I had a strong need to answer some of my questions and put new… What I enjoyed most there, was the daily contact with the Russian people, its culture ,everyday life and the friendship with fellow students, Russians and non Russians, a friendship that grows as years are passing…
If Boris Tishchienko taught me something, not necessarily related to music, is that without dedication and passion nothing happens. I went to his lessons: Although he was old, exhausted from a serious illness, very emaciated, during amid painful treatments, he was there! And he spoke with passion about music. He analyzed projects, discussed, listened patiently students’ work, made with kindness and clarity as always comments and lasted for another day the flame of art on.” Ioannidis composed music for orchestra and choir which was performed few years later.(see link below)
“Encounter” (Συνάντηση) is another 2006 album which contains songs of collaborations with other musicians, singers and lyricists. Its’ beautiful title song was his first own song which was created in 1994.
“I live in music as in a lifelong journey. I am wandering in its territory, one time in a hurry, other time like an idle …. I meet people…. I come in touch with new experiences ….. I see, hear, feel, getting a little tired …I rest for a while and then start again, but not like a journey in a foreign country, as I live in it since my childhood. I want to become a good citizen of this music country. I have the ambition to give birth to songs-children on its soil who are living with all the other musical notes of people, tuned and out of tune, angelic and uninteresting, from the begining of the world till now”
The third part of the story, about his works from 2009 will be published in the next few weeks.
Official site http://www.alkinoos.gr/en.html
Ioannidis piec for choir and orchestra Athyr:https://youtu.be/HlNS3d56tmc
Thanks to Anastasia Tanela for the idea and research and to Katerina Siapanda for fruitful explanations!
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