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.

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!

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.

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.

Muted Blast (.2) Concert of meta.ξ | New York

Transient Beauty for tape and Orbits for piano and tape are going to be performed at New York on 15th of November 2019 by the Canadian pianist Jana Luksts!

-meta.ξ, a collective of Greek composer/artist/design-curators, is presenting a concert of cutting-edge works featuring piano, electronics, double bass, interspersed with electro-acousmatic music. meta.ξ is bi-laterally based between the United States and Greece, with members living and working everywhere in between. The collective aims to strengthen the voice of the post-crisis generation of Greek composers, while embracing subversive and under-represented artists internationally.

With performances in prestigious venues across the globe, this is the first time meta.ξ will bring a concert to New York City. Jana Luksts (piano) and Evan Runyon (double bass), will navigate and experiment with scores involving electronics, robotics, and light design.

Programm, Muted Blast 2, metaξ (meta-ksi.com)
Benzaquen Hall, Dimenna Center for Classical Music
Jana Luksts, piano (www.janaluksts.com)
Evan Runyon, bass (http://evanruyon.com)
November 15, 2019 at 8PM

4 (Hommage) Études published by Universal Edition | Vienna

Four (Hommage) Études for solo piano is now published by Universal Edition. The piece consists of 4 short pieces for solo piano of which, each one makes a tribute to the following composers, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Reich, Smite. The purpose of the work is to introduce young students to the aesthetics of modern music in an enjoyable way.

You can buy your copy here

You can listen to the piece being performed by Tobias Weiss here

Interactive Music Systems | Exhibition 2019 AUTh

Please find here a short video with excerpts from the works of my students created during our easter semester course “Interactive Music Systems” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. All projects are based on Arduino programming, interfacing with various hardware sensors (photodiodes, distance sensors, switches, potentiometer, etc) and communicating with various software platforms like Live Ableton, PureData, etc.

DeFence at Τhessaloniki Concert Hall

On the occasion of the celebration of the European Music Day on 21st of June, a large scale happening is going to take place at Megaron Concert Hall of Thessaloniki at 23:00.

DeFence is an open performance for 4 orchestra conductors, 88 performers with hammers, hand wrenches, motors, sheet metal, cables, and other hardware tools used as sound actuators. The ultimate target of the performance is the disintegration of the wire mesh that surrounds the building M2.

The visual borderline, the boundaries of an image, the physical barriers, are not able to set also a sound limit. Although the conversation with any kind of restriction or borderline is in many cases challenging, in this case, for artistic reasons, such an artistic debate can be initiated only if by the end of the event the physical barrier will disintegrate. The border will be deconstructed and abolished through and within the artistic act itself.

D. Maronidis | Concept | Composition | Electronics | Sound Design | SuperConducting
M. Sionas | Direction
C. Gousios | Audio Engineering
D. Fotiadis, P. Metaxas, T.Sourgounis, Z. Seglias | Conductors