FeedIndex



Site-specific sound piece composed for "Odas," the main reception room of the house of the dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios (1750 - 1809) in Nicosia. Commissioned by research and curatorial team Re Aphrodite (Chrystalleni Loizidou and Evanthia Tselika) and the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC), as part of the exhibition [At Maroudia's] (Ethnological Museum – House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, July 4-December 30, 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus). The exhibition/intervention formed part of the contemporary art program TERRA MEDITERRANEA / IN CRISIS, organized by the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre and the Pierides Foundation under the auspices of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU. Read more

Concerned with the untold histories of women, or "herstories," [At Maroudias] consisted of a series of subtle, often minimal interventions to the permanent exhibition of the museum, each assigned to a different artist, in an attempt to re-tell the history of the Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios and his house from an often inexistent in the official historical record female perspective. The title of the piece refers to a certain type of room in Ottoman era upper-class houses, in this case the main reception room of the House of the Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, where the museum is housed. The room is the only one in the 1793 building that has been restored to be suggestive of Ottoman luxury. A lavishly decorated space, it combines stylistic elements from across the board: previously a colonial-style living room, then renovated to an Ottoman aesthetic using contemporary materials, is now a strictly controlled museum space, only to be looked at. In an effort to mirror the room's history, through which these stylistic ruptures were produced, I decided to base my piece on an improvisation, or "taqsim," often regarded as a connection to the spiritual world, but here performed by Andreas Vrahimis on the kabak kemane, a stringed bowed folk instrument with a body made of vegetable marrow, which was purchased at a nearby tourist souvenir shop in Nothern Nicosia. Furthermore, the piece incorporates field recordings that document my interaction with found materials at the site, such as the crackling sounds of the wooden staircases and old doors, and gestures derived from moving large blocks of stones which were once part of the outer walls of the house but now lie at the garden after not been used during the restoration work at the museum. All other field recordings were made in the village of Lefkara. The piece follows a loose structure and is "in tune" with the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, one of the most distinct sounds in the old town of Nicosia.





"Odas" was included in the collection "Sonic Arts 6.0 Cyprus," showcasing selected artists of the sound art and electronic music scene of Cyprus and its diaspora, including work by Microseq, Yannis Kyriakides and Andy Moor, Christos Kyriakoullis, Marcus Papageorgiou and others. Curated by Antonis Antoniou, the collection was released in December, 2012 by Pantheon Cultural Association.

On November 8, 2013 'Odas' was presented at the Royal Dockyard Church in Kent (UK) as part of the Symposium on Acoustic Ecology 2013, organized by The School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, and endorsed by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). For concert program and information about the symposium click here.


--
"Yiannis Christofides manages to once again bring life to the ancient room. The sound places the audience member in a state of inquiry and anticipation"

Margarita Paraskevaidou, Reference to the Hostess, Phileleftheros, Sunday, August 19, 2012

--
The “Oda” is the main reception room of the Dragoman’s home, and the only one restored to be suggestive of Ottoman luxury. It is a lavishly decorated space, designed to demonstrate to the guests the elite status of its owner. It combines stylistic elements from across the board: previously a colonial-style living room, then renovated to an Ottoman aesthetic using contemporary materials, and now a strictly controlled museum space, only to be looked at. As the site of formal meetings, conversations, but also leisure activities, and called the “Aspastikon” (the place of kissing one’s guests in greeting), the room must have functioned as an oddly intimate space. Yiannis Christofides’ two-channel audio installation, composed for this room, considers these contradictions. “The large widows that surround the room bring the outside – the light, the air and the sounds of the city – inside. The low positioning of the windows and the raised floor of the room afford privileged views of the courtyard and the rest of the house, rendering the room a unique surveillance point.” Christofides’ intervention takes advantage of the sensual and engaging qualities of sound, to provide an experience of the space that is powerfully transformative.

Re Aphrodite, [at Maroudia's], Terra Mediterranea / In Crisis, exhibition catalogue, NiMAC, 2012, p. 140.



View of the house from the courtyard, as seen on the evening of the opening of [at Maroudia's] exhibition


Electroacoustic miniature pieces in memory of composer Conlon Nancarrow. Composed exclusively from recorded samples of one of Nancarrow's player pianos, the four miniatures were presented as part of a London Sinfonietta concert at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, on April 21, 2012. As an introduction to the concert, a metaphorical countdown of new pre-recorded miniatures or "stings," selected among contributions from composers from around the world, was reproduced so as to lead directly up to the first notes of Nancarrow's "Canon X" (Study No.21), performed by members of the London Sinfonietta and arranged by Dominic Murcott. The concert was part of the festival "Impossible Brilliance: the music of Conlon Nancarrow," presented by the London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Read more





The player piano samples used in these pieces were recorded at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, where the complete archive of Conlon Nancarrow and the two player pianos that he used for the majority of his work are currently located. The recordings were provided by the organizers of the festival. Listen to three of the samples below:


♫ C1-leg.mp3


♫ E2-leg.mp3


♫ E5-leg.mp3




The machine on which Conlon Nancarrow created his player piano rolls.
Photo by Carol Law, 1977
Collection: C Amirkhanian
Audio work commissioned by artist Michael Kontopoulos for his installation piece Water Rites. The piece was composed specifically for headphone listening.





Water Rites explores the growing threat of water scarcity in California and the cultural practices that develop around it. The video follows two characters performing a series of fictitious rituals. The artifacts used in the rituals are displayed next to the two screens. Read more




The piece was presented at L A C E (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), in Hollywood, California, as part of Speculative, a group exhibition curated by Christopher O’Leary and Zach Blas.

--

Presented as part of the Blindspot Initiative Group Exhibition, at Keystone Art Space in Los Angeles, February 7-18, 2014.





Views from the opening of Speculative at L A C E, Hollywood.
Installation piece commissioned by Lena Theodoropoulou and Create an Accident, an open ongoing platform about the performing and visual arts and theoretical research, based in Athens, Greece. Part of Thesis, an international group exhibition about impossible actions, the notion of destruction, and the construction of a new social contract. March 27 to April 18, 2013, Metamatic:Taf (5 Normanou str. 10555 Athens, Greece).




Love me tender explores narratives on the theme of love and its neurotic manifestations in popular culture, under the prism of Ovid’s myth of Echo and Narcissus. Engaging with reflections, the piece involves the audience in a situation of play and disturbance with respect to one’s self image, socially acceptable patterns, stereotypes and behaviors associated with love, and the various mutations and transformations that the object of love undergoes.

Via a public invitation, open to all, I have asked people to sing a song that they associate with a relationship, or a person they are currently in love with or have been in love with in the past. Recordings were sent to my email. As a rule (and as a challenge to me as a composer), I have used all the material sent to me, regardless of style, 'quality' of performance, language or content, in an effort to construct a personal narrative.

The outcome of this effort, took the form of an installation that traces a double movement, one that leads from the private to the social, as the lover abolishes part of the singularity of her love by singing the words of others, and, a second movement leading from the public to the personal. Through this second movement is constructed an instance of the lover's discourse by way of echo-ing, repetition and miming, much like Echo, who, in Ovid's myth, communicates her love to Narcissus by repeating the end of his phrases. The work explores the above conceptual diagram through a play of reflections, both aural and visual. It consists of two parts, Echo and Narcissus and Dedication.

Read more about Thesis







--
Yiannis Christofides experiments with the failure of Echo and Narcissus to engage with the object of their desire, as they both remain trapped either in the image of the Other, or of the Self. Creating a game of reflections, projections and repetitions, Love me Tender becomes disturbingly familiar. The uniqueness of the loved object is destroyed and revealed as an outcome of an externally imposed social narrative. But yet, having disconnected the expression of love from its original connotations, the mystic character of the installation calls the visitor to re-create a personal experience through the collective expression of love.

Lena Theodoropoulou (curator), Notes on Love me Tender




Promotional video for Thesis exhibition. Audio: Yiannis Christofides
Absent poetically explores the states of presence and absence, through the material traces of bodily activity. True absence, like emptiness and total silence, cannot be part of lived experience. The notion of absence is, in this sense, an ideality; it designates that which remains of the Other’s presence, always being an evidence of presence. Absence can therefore only be defined negatively as non-presence. In this regard, Absent is in essence a study on loss. Through photography, printed word, and sound the piece explores the lack of the Other’s desired presence, the lack of the Other’s living body and the space it unintentionally molds and animates into what might be called an intimate place.





The flat surface of the bed sheet can be seen as a metaphor for space, folded into place through time. Intensities of movement, the intermittent gestures of the sleeping body and its acquired postures, accumulate layer upon layer on its surface, constituting a plane of simultaneity: the synthesized whole of the instances of the body, superimposed, made and unmade. Is it not through such a process of synthesis that the disparate instances of the Other’s body give rise to its image in my memory? Memory is here externalized; localized in the materiality of the fabric.







List of Materials:

357 black & white photographs - digital print on paper, matte, 21 x 14.8 cm each [A5], surface cover area up to 11 sq. m. (variable)

Booklet – texts in Greek and English, digital print, 14 pages, 21 x 14.8 cm [A5]

2-channel audio - duration: 4’22’’ (loop)

3-channel video - 16:9 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1080 pixels, duration: 1’54’’ (loop)






--
Touch punishes

'On the white sheet
Touch offers to the eye the body as a gift
And hungry still she explores the fibres of the cloth'





A quick render of work in progress following thoughts and ideas developed in Absent. A version of this piece was improvised live at the launching event of the album Sonic Arts 6.0 Cyprus, which took place on the 28th of December, 2012 at Tritos, Pantheon Cultural Association in Nicosia.