‘On Your Marks, Cease Fire,’ a song for a truce

The concept belongs to composer/singer Costas Ganotis: a song that will travel the world taking along a message of peace and the idea of the Olympic Truce on the occasion of the upcoming Athens 2004 Games. «On your Marks, Cease Fire,» is the title of the composition that will be interpreted by two pillars of the Greek music scene, Dimitra Galani and Alkistis Protopsalti. They will be joined by another three familiar voices, those of Olympic medalist Katerina Thanou, journalist Maria Houkli and actress Pemi Zouni. The three will not be singing, but will be adding their own warmth through the narration of the song’s basic core. The song’s lyrics are based on the opening of Takis Papatsonis’s poem, «Ode to Aquarius,» while «On Your Marks, Cease Fire,» is repeated twice by pupils of the Cross-Cultural Palaio Faliron Junior School in 11 languages. Children feature prominently in the project, with chorals interpreted by the Dimitris Typaldos Children Choir. The song will be released in CD form, with proceeds from sales going toward charity. «What led me to the creation of this piece was not only war, the kind we see every day, but also the other one, the hidden one, the inner war between wisdom and foolishness,» said Ganotis at a recent press presentation. Before him, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis had noted that «as Greeks and as Athenians we are looking for ways to offer the idea of the Olympic Truce a new, active dimension.» Pnyx Also at the press conference, Galani defined her participation as «a personal need,» while Maria Houkli noted that «at a time of torture and beheadings we don’t have much choice.» On July 19, the Municipality of Athens is organizing an event based on Ganotis’s initiative. The event will take place on the Pnyx hill.