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«Out From Athens»
DRIFF, 2402

Pianist-composer-educator Pandelis Karayorgis was born in Athens, Greece, and has been based in Boston for over thirty years, and runs the label Driff Records with reeds player Jorrit Dijkstra. Double bass player-composer George Kokkinaris was born in Athens 24 years after Karayorgis and is one of the prominent musicians in Athens’s improvisational and new music scenes. He is one of the publishers of the magazine NewMusic.gr, which strives to broaden the new music community scene in Greece, and play in improvised dance settings, exploring movement, and studying contemporary dance history.

Out From Athens is Karayorgis’ first collaboration with a Greek musician in many years. The album was recorded at Artracks Recording Studios (with an excellent Fazzioli piano) in Athens in August 2023 over one afternoon after a couple of rehearsals. It features one solo piano piece and one solo double piece, three pieces of Karayorgis, and eight improvisations.

This cross-generation meets cross-genre duo of Karayorgis and Kokkinaris established immediately a common musical language that blurs the distinction between contemporary music, free jazz and free improvisation, and play as equals. Both Karayorgis and Kokkinaris are fearless and restless improvisers who enjoy the challenge of the art of the moment and like to expand their sonic palettes with extended techniques and preparations. The pieces are short, relying on stimulating tension and a sense of urgency, and are focused on a distinct idea, extended technique, or distinct mode of energy, and once their essence is exhausted Karayorgis and Kokkinaris move to the next piece. Karaygorgis’ solo piece «Astrikon» and Kokkinaris’ solo piece «I Wake to Sleep, and Take my Waking Slow», inspired by a poem by American poet Theodore Roethke, highlight their idiosyncratic languages as well as their open improvisational strategies. The title of the improvised piece «Throughgoing Line» comes from a painting by Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky.

Eyal Hareuveni

Pandelis Karayorgis (piano), George Kokkinaris (double bass)