The musical imagery of Kypourgos

In his latest release, a collection of music for film, the composer Nikos Kypourgos has once again defied industry standards. Rather than offer soundtrack material from one film, or two at the most, as tends to be the norm, Kypourgos has instead culled previously unreleased music and songs he wrote in recent years for a total of nine films and one television series. The album, «Music in Images» (Mousiki Se Eikones), opens with eight tracks from a forthcoming film, «Acrovates tou Kypou» by Christos Dimas, to be screened in Greece within the next few weeks. Its release, along with the current screening of another film for which Kypourgos also composed the score, «Logbooks – George Seferis» by Stelios Charalambopoulos, prompted the composer to gather material for this latest soundtrack album release. Incidentally, the Charalambopoulos film, a documentary, has already attracted some 6,000 viewers to theaters, a considerable number given its category. Returning to Kypourgos’s «Music in Images,» the album contains a total of 30 tracks, several of which are small suites, as well as a surprise track for the release’s finale, for listeners with enough patience after 70 minutes of playing time. Inspired and loaded with imagery, the album’s material covers a wide stylistic range, from Latin American-tinged to classical, as is common with soundtrack releases. «The material is linked by a sense of personal style, but, from that point on, differs in its variety,» noted the youthful-looking 49-year-old Kypourgos, who Manos Hadjidakis fostered during his formative years, and today is the artistic director of Seirios, the high-caliber record label his late mentor had founded. Though similar in vein to his previous album, «Mystika tou Kypou,» Kypourgos pointed out that the main difference in the new album is its instrumental nature. Despite his obvious penchant for soundtrack music, Kypourgos has made rare deviations into writing songs for vocalists. Collaborators have included Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Nena Venetsanou. Despite the warm reception of «Mystika tou Kypou,» which attracted a far wider audience on the strength of the vocal contributions, Kypourgos stressed that commercial appeal had no place in his music, and that he is in no rush to repeat work for vocalists. The mere 10-month gap which separates the earlier album from his latest soundtrack serves to highlight this talented composer’s swift and effortless songwriting ability. «I usually don’t release albums at such a rapid rate, but it [the latest album] was prompted by the [forthcoming] ‘Acrovates tou Kypou’ film,» remarked Kypourgos. «I could have expanded the existing material and brought out a CD with the score for one specific film. But I thought this a good opportunity to combine all the unreleased material,» he added. The compositions included on «Music in Images» are from the soundtracks of the films: «Ephimeri Poli» by Giorgos Zafeiris; «To Kanarini Podilato» by Dimitris Stavrakas; «Idan ta Matia mas Yiortes» by Stelios Charalambopoulos; «Tris Epoches» by Maria Iliou; «Me mia Kravgi» by Vassiliki Iliopoulou; «Terra Incognita» by Yiannis Typaldos; «Nuestra Senora de ios Peros» by Evi Karabatsou; as well as two theme pieces from the television series «Ta Psathina Kapella.» The release’s musical cast includes Bulgaria’s Amadeus Orchestra, a children’s choir from Larissa’s Municipal Conservatory in northern Greece, and a touching contribution from a 10-year-old Albanian youngster, Nicoka Floki. «Music in Images» is Kypourgos’s eighth album with music from films. The composer emphasized the crucial importance of selecting material for soundtrack albums, which, the artist said, must also be able to function independently of the screen action it was originally written to support. «From each film, I release those songs which convey a certain type of quality,» said Kypourgos. «An album is a separate entity, and it should be able to stand on its own, irrespective of whether the listener has seen the film or not.»

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