CULTURE

Iraklis Paschalidis releases CD

Composer Iraklis Paschalidis, who has been writing music mostly for theater for more than 20 years now, is about to have his first album released. The Thessaloniki-based composer’s music has accompanied more than 60 performances, in venues such as Thessaloniki’s Experimental Art Theater and the National Theater of Northern Greece as well as the Greek National Theater and various municipal regional theaters. But Paschalidis remains a relatively unknown figure, especially because he has not actively sought publicity. A new album, «Iraklis Paschalidis – 12 moussika kommatia kai 6 tragoudia» (12 Instrumental Compositions and Six Songs), released by Protasis, is an attempt to offer listeners a chance to appreciate his work. Two albums that included some of his compositions have been introduced in the past. The 1989 vinyl edition «A Romance in Many Dimensions,» with the music for the performance of the same title by Dutch puppet theater artist Feike Boschma, can no longer be found. The CD «Theatrika-moussikes apo parastasseis tis Peiramatikis Skinis tis Technis» (Theater Music from Experimental Theater Productions), released by Lyra in 1995, contains compositions from Paschalidis and Costas Vomvolos. This album is Paschalidis’s first personal album, containing extracts from various performances. «I just wanted this album to have things that I feel very deep inside,» he said. «Definitely all 18 compositions are very personal. I believe that an artist has to give something very personal in his art to be of interest to others.» There is a large part of his work which remains unreleased. «There are things that interest me no longer, but there are also things that I love and I want them to come to the surface. But these can only be found in old recordings of poor quality, or recordings of songs that have no vocals (because the actor used to sing them live on stage), so they need to be rerecorded from the start. My next step will definitely be studio work, to record old and new pieces.» «I particularly enjoy working in theater; it shakes me up to be precise,» said Paschalidis. «And I have been lucky because I had to deal with great texts and authors, which is a strong incentive. I always felt the need to attend rehearsals, to understand the characters of the play and the actual performance – without that, I cannot write a single note. My music cannot express an opinion, it only has an opinion about things taking place on stage. That is why there is always an interaction between the music and the performance.» Paschalidis appeared optimistic about the prospects of his album in a scene inundated by low-caliber Greek music. «I believe that the percentage of people not interested in the so-called ‘Greek mainstream’ is much higher than the 2 percent that recording labels, radios and all those with power in the music industry want us to believe,» he said. «And that audience shows interest, listens, seeks and finds what it likes. And it is very much annoyed by what is imposed everywhere. Because the way things are now, even in the supermarket we are bombarded with skyladika [low-quality] Greek pop.»