Anastassis Philippakopoulos is a Greek, Athens-based composer and member of the minimalist and reductionist Wandelweiser composers’ collective since 2003. His compositional aesthetics are very personal, following the sparse and stoic, minimalist aesthetics of the international collective of composers, and often associated with the surroundings of his life in Athens. Venezuelan fellow composer and multimedia artist Gil Sansón summed up Philippakopoulos’ aesthetics in a short poem that accompanies Piano 1 Piano 2 Piano 3: «wandering in the desert to find your voice / the path to the horizontal through the vertical / finding yourself in the intervals / the interval between idea and expression».
Piano 1 Piano 2 Piano 3 offers three early compositions of Philippakopoulos for solo piano, performed by Serbian pianist-composer Teodora Stepančić, known as the founder of LCollective and Piano+. The album was recorded at Kyriazis Studios in Athens in November 2018. These ethereal, minimalist compositions capture Philippakopoulos’ concentrated expression of the solo piano and explore the importance of silent intervals through a patient, slow and quiet progression.
Stepančić, who performed «Piano 3» before the recording as well as other compositions by the Wandelweiser composers’ collective like Jürg Frey and Michael Pisaro, is a perfect interpreter of Philippakopoulos’ atmospheric compositions. She understands its elusive philosophical-meditative aim but also knows how to balance its austere spirit with expressive playing. Moreover, she knows how to create a timeless, immersive listening space that invites the listener to wander through poetic yet deserted landscapes of vulnerable textures which resonate organically with silent intervals. These compositions lead to the realization that all is but one interconnected cycle, from its initial, silent rise to the inevitable, more audible decay.
Teodora Stepančić (p)