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ANASTASSIS PHILPPAKOPOULOS / JÜRG FREY

«wind and light»
ELSEWHERE, 015

Greek composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos has been a member of the Wandelweiser composers collective since 2003. His compositional aesthetics are very personal, associated with the surroundings of his life in Athens, and balance between Western and Eastern musical traditions. You can find in his music a unique blend of stoic minimalism, the warm colors of modern romanticism, and the introspective depth of silent meditation.

«wind and light» is Philippakopoulos’ second album for the elsewhere label, following last year’s «piano works». It is dedicated to the founder of the Wandelweiser composers collective, Antoine Beuger, and present seven compositions of Philippakopoulos. Four are clarinet pieces, inspired by the nature in Greece, performed by Swiss composer-clarinetist Jürg Frey, and recorded in Athens in September 2016. The piano pieces were performed by Philippakopoulos and were recorded in Athens in February 2019. The cover painting of a Greek village was done by Philippakopoulos’ sister and painter Maria Filippakopoulou.

The clarinet pieces are called songs and piano pieces were composed between 2013 and 2018. These minimalists, serene and almost transparent pieces suggest brief, austere melodies amid generous silences, and all let the sounds float and linger on. Frey’s clarinet sounds like the breath of a human being in deep meditation, and often sounds like the shakuhachi flute, associated with Zen Buddhism – and is the elusive windy element in nature. Philippakopoulos’ piano suggests a distant perspective that captures wider landscapes – the soft lights. But the wise sequence of these delicate pieces highlights the poetic manner in which these pieces correspond and compliment each other and create a profound and immersive listening experience. Or as Frey calls it: «a poetic relationship between the human and the landscape».

Eyal Hareuveni  

Jürg Frey (cl), Anastassis Philippakopoulos (p)

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