Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A hundred of guitars in Athens Concert Hall and the vision of music during the weak greek years

Just a few days ago, on December 9th in the evening the famous Greek guitarist Evangelos Boudounis (http://www.boudounis.gr/), performed in Athens Concert Hall with his "100 classical guitars", an ensemble which is consisted of people aged frοm 10 up to 73, all of them old and new students of Mr. Boudounis.
The ensemble hadn´t performed again since July of 2004, during the Olympic Games in Athens at Herodeion (http://www.herodeion-events.gr/), when "Greece was at its best", as he said. While now he wanted to repeat the artistic event, as a way of expressing his resistance on the bad situation that the country reached so far. He disagreed with the expensive prices of this concert, but, on the other hand, it was important for him, having a big bunch of young people who want to shout that they are here and feel strong to manage the country's situation. Moreover, the greek guitar school is the third best in the world, as he claims.

Actually, we read, the performers now became 210, and this is one of the basic concerns of him "how they will manage to reach the stage in a proper order?"
The ensemble has a long history, started already back in 80´s during a workshop in Rethymnon, Crete, where in the presence of Manos Hatjidakis, he accepted to conduct it in the closing concert. This time the repertoire was still wide and demanding: Renaissance dances, "Spring" of Vivaldi, Shostakovitch's "Waltz", and even "The Dance of the Lost Dreams" of Manos Hatjidakis, Piazzolla's "Libertango", and a composition of Mr Boudounis under the title "Waltz of Herodeion".
And as a creator of this ensemble he knows very well its needs, its difficulties, the specialties of  guitar as an instrument, and its attitude inside such a populous ensemble. But this is the challenge for him, believing that an instrument like guitar, which does not have any long history, has the opportunity to adapt new concepts, supporting its 20th century repertoire, without attempting to lose its character as a quiet and peaceful instrument.

What comes even more interesting, looking  a little bit on the backstage of this ingenious and charming concert, is the fact that part of the ensemble are now students (or x- students) of the Musical Workshops of the Greek association "Friends of the Island and the Sea" (http://www.filoitounisiou.gr/). This is an interesting concept of a group of sensitive greek citizens, who try to fill the gap of non existent music education in some of the remote small greek islands by sending teachers who visit the islands twice a month, the last 16 years, even for teaching only at a few small students ). Υes, the islands we usually visit for holidays during the summer easily, do not have frequent connection with the inland during the winter.
The islands where so far Musical Workshops are held are: Sifnos, Serifos, Andros, Tinos, Kea, Santorini, Ikaria, and Limnos. The concept is imaginative but difficult in performance, although, there have been some interesting result, fruits of a constant tenacity of all the participants.We can dedicate another blog article to the wonderful projects of the Friends of the Greek Island and The Sea.

Back to the "Hundred Guitar Ensemble" now, we can listen some music of the work, using the Youtube player:
Waltz of the lost dreams (Manos Hatjidakis)
Andante (Antonio Vivaldi)
while our favourite is...
Libertango (Astor Piazzolla)

With the help of professional lightening the ensemble resembles to a beautiful rose, whose perfume is at the same time its sound! And Vangelis Boudounis adds "when everything is synchronized on stage, the sound is like you have a candie in your mouth"!...

And i can reassure you, Greeks need nothing than a sense of candie in their mouth, this period!

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