CULTURE

Evanthia Reboutsika’s melodies

Evanthia Reboutsika is one of the Greek live music scene’s most promising new artists, despite the fact that she has had a career in music for more years than she has been appearing on stage. Now, in a new initiative, the singer/songwriter has decided to write music for films and has just completed the score for Tassos Boulmetis’s «Political Cuisine,» while also applying the finishing touches to the music for a National Theater production of Jean Giraudoux’s «Mad Woman of Chaillot,» directed by Korai Damati. Both these works will be released on CD, while next month Reboutsika is billed to appear live at the House of Art venue alongside Panayiotis Kalantzopoulos, Andreas Karakotas, Iota Nega and Angelos Papadimitriou. Which do you prefer, writing songs or playing music? I am most at ease performing on the violin. I don’t give many concerts but I like that, whether they are at small venues or festivals, like when Panayiotis (Kalantzopoulos) and I went to Belgium for the Sphinx Festival. My best moments are orchestral. I’m not snubbing songs but they often make me feel bitter, so I just return to what I feel better with. Do you write your songs with a voice in mind? I never write for specific performers. I write music and when I can imagine it with lyrics, then I turn to the songwriter within me. It’s like matchmaking. If it works, fine. But real matchmaking requires a deep connection. Are there any special new qualities to the music you wrote for the National Theater? It requires a big orchestra with many strings, wind instruments and percussion, as well as smaller folk music groups. This is the fifth series of music I have written for the theater and I really enjoy the process. Korai Damati and I are thinking of doing something more, say, a musical. How do you try out what you have written? Because I am a person of melody, I like to whistle or sing the music. Not with words or la-la-las. I can’t really explain it. There are certain things I whistle which seem to speak to me. I also try them out on the piano or the mandolin. Are you just suddenly inspired, or do you have to concentrate? I get a lot of ideas and images when I’m walking the city. That’s how I wrote «Alexandria.» Even if I’m writing for something that doesn’t have an image, I create one. I used to write stories when I was little; I am a person of pictures. I was practically born in a cinema; my dad had the Rex movie theater in Achagia. What would you say is your basic principle? I like saying, «This is what I have in my record collection,» and not being ashamed.