Sound meets image at Fira

The Ichos kai Ikona (Sound and Image) Festival is about to take place in Santorini for the second year. As was the case last summer, the program, which features lesser-known performances, reflects the organizers’ artistic restlessness. Productions combining different forms of art as well as collaborations between Greek and foreign artists will be hosted at the Bellonio Cultural Center in Fira until August 2, starting this Friday. Composer Nikos Platyrachos, general secretary of the Sound and Image Festival board of directors, told Kathimerini that all board members are focused on unconventional artistic creation. «There is the central idea of combining sounds and images in any way possible and, as a result, of blending the new with the old and the familiar with the unusual. But the main concept is the unconventional approach to the repertoire. We do not want to present works that are familiar, although we recognize that some of them are indeed very beautiful. There is no question regarding the quality of a Mozart quartet, for instance, but because it is played so often and so well by so many different ensembles, we choose not to repeat it, opting for something that is only just starting out.» It is in this context that pianist Magda Nikolaidou and cellist Alexander Ivashkin will join forces for a chamber music concert on July 28, with works by Bach, Alfred Schnittke and Rachmaninov. There is great variety in the program. «We have cinema, dance, music but also events that combine different elements, like our opening performance,» said Platyrachos. Based on texts by Gabriel Garcia Lorca, George Seferis and others, as well as on Greek folk poetry and on the biblical «Song of Songs,» the theater performance «Just a Pair of Roses: A Study on the Blood Wedding» is set to open the festival on Friday. It is a hybrid dance and theater show, directed by Maria Pappa, with the music of Christos Ikonomidis and the choreography of Maria Karapanagiotidou. The closing ceremony will also feature a complex music and dance performance by the Encardia group, while the film that will be screened is Grigoris Karantinakis’s «Chariton’s Choir,» a 2005 work in which music plays a prominent part, bringing cinema and music together. One of the festival’s future aims is expansion. «Our finances are tight and we are limited as to the number of performances we can stage but also their cost. Still, we have the vision and the ambition of carrying our undertaking even beyond Santorini in the future. We have already taken steps in this direction because we want to establish something more permanent in Athens but also in the countryside.» Platyrachos referred to the two performances staged last winter at the ACS Arts Center and at the Athenaeum International Arts Center, which brought the Sound and Image Festival to the Greek capital. The festival opens on Friday with the theater performance «Just a Pair of Roses: A Study on the Blood Wedding.» It will continue on Sunday with a jazz concert by the Nukleus trio and then a chamber music recital by cellist Alexander Ivashkin and pianist Magda Nikolaidou on July 28. Grigoris Karantinakis’s film «Chariton’s Choir» will be screened on July 29 and Dostoevsky’s «Notes from Underground» will go on stage on July 31, directed by Chrisi Abla. The festival will end on August 2, with Encardia’s music and dance performance «Fairies and Pirates.» Bellonio Cultural Center, Fira, Santorini. All shows start at 9 p.m. For information, call 22860.24960 or visit