Music always wins | Longleash Trio | New York

meta.ξ | music always wins | a dramatized installation by Longleash Trio

Chaconne for piano, violin, Violoncello, and fixed media is going to get its premiere in New York on the 7th of July 2021 by the American Trio Longleash. The piece is focusing on the sonic moment when a glass is breaking, creating a crystalline sound while its particles fall apart on the ground. A special poem was composed by Gundega Smite and myself for this purpose and was used as an outline for the development of the form of the piece. Stay tuned for more information and in the meanwhile please read below a few words about the concept of this very special forthcoming meta.ξ concert curated by Zesses Seglias with immense support from George Katehis

poem by Gundega Smite & Dimitris Maronidis


When asked about his work words and music and the battle between the two, Samuel Beckett was clear: music is the absolute winner, as it “is the idea itself, unaware of the world of phenomena”2, in contrast to Beckett’s view on language and its expressive limitations

This is indeed true, since music ―especially abstract music― has no signified meaning, at least in the way language has. Even when an extra-musical idea or text is signified through the music, to the unaware listener music remains ―and can be perceived as― a signifier, since there is no established code attaching certain meanings to certain sounds.

When it comes to a live performance of music, is this autonomy a virtue or a flaw? Especially when more than one fields of art are involved and a certain ―or uncertain― message is to be delivered, is the absence of the signified a desired quality of music?

At the bottom line, this principle seems to be inevitably present. Thus, the question raised is not how to change the nature of music, but rather the way it is perceived. That is, to question Beckett’s note: why does music always win? Why is language ―or its visual representation― inferior to music?

In a conventional concert situation, the audience is placed against the stage (and the music) and perceives it in a rather passive way, in the sense that no action that can interfere with the performance is meant to be taken. In this way, any other element that could possibly function as a reference (or even signified) is imposed on the top of music and is decorative. In this situation, music wins again.

Live recording of Mise en abîme by Altera Shock | Rīga

Two years after the premiere of my piece Mise en abîme in Riga, I have managed to retrieve the audio files of the recording of that performance! Though the recording suffers from some technical issues (live electronics being recorded only from mics on-stage so lacking a bit of the high frequencies), the spirit of the piece is present here. I think this is probably my most meditative piece so enjoy it in serenity and preferably in dark in your bed!

Mise en abîme is a term used in visual arts to describe a formal technique of placing a copy of an image within itself, often in a way that suggests an infinitely recurring sequence. A common way of experiencing this effect is by standing between two mirrors, seeing, as a result, an infinite reproduction of one’s image. In this piece, I try to imitate this phenomenon in the field of sound. Fragments of music are repeated many times, each time slightly distorted, in order to create perceptually the same effect.

Mise en abîme was commissioned by Arena Festivāls at Riga, Latvia, and was composed in Autumn of 2018. The premiere of the piece took place at VEF Cultural House in Riga on the 30th of October 2018 by Trio ART-i-Shock and Altera Veritas Ensemble collaborating for this unique concert.

This is a LIVE recording of the premiere. Please mind using a pair of headphones, or loudspeakers to listen to this music.

(YouTube painting) “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez

Isolation Music at digitIZMir | Izmir

During the second Covid-19 lockdown here in Thessaloniki, I received an email from my very good friend Mehmet Can Ozer to contribute to his festival digitIZMir with a video improvisation. I thought this would be a nice opportunity to experiment with a Korg littleBits analogue synth kit I bought a few years ago. In my electronic works, I seek usually for high sound fidelity. This time, I wanted to play in the field of lo-fi electronics. I programmed a simple granulation engine in SuperCollider, plugged the analog synth into my audio interface, and recorded everything with my camera’s onboard microphone on the fly. Tinkering the hardware and experimenting in this way always brings to me memories of my childhood, when I was enjoying so much to disassemble my toys in order to understand how they work and finding ways to make completely new use out of them!

You can watch the video on 13.12.2020, 31 (CET) on the festival’s YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Live recording of Fantasia & Toccata | Latvia

Please listen to a live recording of my most recent piece performed in Riga by LNSO Double Bass Orchestra conducted by Jānis Stafeckis. Fantasia & Toccata was composed in 2020 amidst the worldwide Covid19 pandemic and under tremendously stressful conditions in my personal life. It has been a piece of luck that in that particular circumstance such an extraordinary and weird formation of an ensemble was given in my hands. No other medium could express better the turmoil I was going through the months this piece was composed. 

Please mind using a pair of speakers or headphones to listen to this music due to its low-frequency content.

Live recording (Radio 3) of the premiere at Great Guild Hall, Riga 08.10.2020
Performers: LNSO double bass orchestra (Oskars Bokanovs, Toms Timofejevs, Andris Veinbergs, Dāvis Vilks, Alise Broka, Kristaps Pētersons, Jurģis Klotiņš, Gustavs Vilsons, Viktors Stankēvičs, Raivo Ozols, Viktors Veļičko, Haralds Arnis, Undīne Berga, Mārcis Lipskis, Dzintars Sabļins, Raivis Misjuns)

Fantasia & Toccata for 16 Contrabasses at LNSO | Rīga

An absolutely crazy formation of an ensemble of 16 contrabasses is going to premiere a new piece of mine at Riga in October. 16 Contrabassists from many countries around Europe are going to join their forces and make a concert on the 8th of October at the central concert hall in Riga.

LNSO CHAMBER MUSICTHE LNSO DOUBLE BASS CHOIR
16 DOUBLE BASSES AND ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Lielā ģilde

Programme:
Hans ZIMMER, Carlos GARDEL, John WILLIAMS, Miloslav GAJDOŠ,
Antonio VIVALDI, Gundega ŠMITE (premiere), Dimitris MARONIDIS (premiere)

The LNSO’s principal double bass, open and friendly Oskars Bokanovs has had his share of piano duets in the previous season, and he now invites friends and colleagues from near and far to surprise you with double bass solos, duets, quartets, and even a double bass orchestra. The program includes music of all styles and eras – from Vivaldi to film scores, from tango to Czech engravings, as well as new works by Gundega Šmite and Dimitris Maronidis. The stately instrument will reveal its melodic and virtuoso strings, a feast for musicians and listeners alike because 20 double bass players on a single stage – it is not to be missed.

https://www.facebook.com/events/788264345333281/

Multiplexing now in permanent collection of MOMus | Thessaloniki

As of today 22.6.2020, my kinetic sound sculpture Multiplexing belongs to the permanent collection of MOMus Museum of Modern Art in Thessaloniki, Greece. I feel thrilled! I am taking this opportunity to share a few thoughts about the way a composer might feel when expressing himself in a quite different medium than pure sound (visuals, sculpture, etc). 

Generally, I believe that apart from the technical differences between various forms of art, there is common ground in the process of expressing oneself in artistic means. Same agonies, efforts, failures, etc. Nevertheless, there were two very special aspects I experienced with this work and I would like to share. The first is the way I interacted with the audience-spectators and the second is the way I had to treat the work after its first exhibition was over.

Live Recording of Clarinet Concerto | Latvia

Please find on youTube a live recording of my new Concerto for Clarinet, String Orchestra, and Electronics, conducted and performed by Guntis Kozma and Sinfonia Concertante at Riga, Latvia on 12th of March 2020.

The piece was commissioned by Mūzikas Festivāls deciBels at Riga, Latvia, and was composed in January of 2020. Please use a pair of headphones, or loudspeakers to listen to this music.

Prob_My Berio for solo Flute premiere in Thessaloniki

Prob_My Berio Chain for solo flute is getting its premiere on 24th of February 2020 at Vafopouleio Cultural Center at 20:30 by Andreas Smyris. The piece was composed 17 years ago, while I was still a student at the Music Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It was part of an assignment in the Computational Models Course which was taught by Emilios Cambouropoulos at that time. In this piece, I implement first order Markov Chains to analyze and then re-compose the Sequenza for solo flute by Luciano Berio. The piece is a tribute to this great Italian Composer.

5 Movements performed by Jana Luksts at DiMenna Center | New York

A new video just released! An amazing performance of 5 Movements for solo piano by the Canadian pianist Jana Luksts at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York! This piece was composed back in 2017, in a period when my young son was obsessed with the music of George Gershwin. Listening to the music of Gershwin on a daily basis has influenced my own composition one way or another. Isn’t a composer supposed to be a filter on reality?

Dedicated to my son Iason Maronidis, for being a startling light of hope.

Jana Luksts, piano
Mariano Wainsztein, director
Daniel Baruch, sound
George Katehis, editing, production