For me, composing means various things; fulfilling a childhood dream, getting close to my childhood years, opening a window dyed in blue and enjoying the great view of the Aegean Archipelago in Greece, having a break from my problems, expressing myself in loneliness. Through composition, and during the last five years of living in the U.S., I have explored Greek and the broader eastern modality, its art of ornamentation, and a different kind of harmony, less rich and dense from the western perspective. My harmonic material derives from natural properties and structures of these modes.
The traditional Greek rhythmic patterns are mixed in a less steady and complicated manner. My harmony and rhythm also blend with my jazz influence and the art of jazz comping. My main philosophy is instead for the Greek musical tradition to serve the western, the Greek to dominate, supported and enriched by my western music education. With my music, I steadily intend to state my musical background and experiences which have mainly to do with folk and traditional music of the common people (thanks to my father who guided me to this path).
When I initially began studying my first musical instrument, a Greek popular instrument, the “bouzouki”, I was unconsciously lost in the paths of improvisation and passion for musical performance. Soon, the improvisation practice, along with the development of my technique on my instrument, led me to my first songs, instrumental and with lyrics. Later, the continuous studying of music of a variety of genres (classical, contemporary classical, jazz, Greek traditional and Byzantine Music (Eastern Orthodox Chant)) began existing as blend of a musical material which all finally came up through my music.
Since my first teenage years, when music had become an untouched part of me, I felt the urge to travel and become acquainted with several styles of World music. After I moved to the U.S. and took Introduction in Anthropology as an undergraduate student at GSU, I, again, unconsciously, initiated an every day study of people and different cultures. Therefore, I realized that the desire to become an Ethnomusicologist was really strong. Ethnomusicology could satisfy my desire of exploration of World music styles bound together with the overall culture of humans.
Ioannis has been commissioned by ACM in 2016 and 2017 for the Sound of Silent Film Festival.