Rendezvous: Georgia Spiropoulos, June 10
The Greeks definitely have a taste for France! After Xenakis in the 1940s and Aperghis in the 1960s, in 1996 Georgia Spiropoulos chose Paris to carry out her career as a composer. Before arriving in France, she studied piano and all the disciplines concerning composition (writing, counterpoint, fugue) in her hometown of Athens. In addition to these studies, she studied jazz and was passionate about Greek oral tradition music—trying to understand the primordial function of each element. The notion of oral traditions has remained central to her music: upon completion of classes with Philippe Leroux and Michaël Levinas, and the Cursus program at IRCAM, she completed a Master’s degree from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in collaboration with anthropologists and a specialist in Greek hermeneutics. This reflection led to the creation of a close relationship between Georgia and her performers; a relationship that she says is vital for creation.
This regard for the musical origins of her country is a part of other inspirations: free improvisation, performance and multi-disciplinary art, and voice and language (as a composer in research at IRCAM, she carried out the Mask project on vocal transformations and contributed to the creation of tools for live performance). In addition to this already-full musical imagination, we can add avant-garde rock (hints of this universe can be even found in the titles of her works: Roll… n’ Roll… n’ Roll, premiere during ManiFeste-2015), punk, and turntablism. In her inspiration-constellation, Georgia cites Billie Holiday and The Residents who fragment, recoup, and reuse pre-existing and emblematic musical styles in the language of rock. This method is not far from that of the composer, who works using small fragments with great symbolic value that she takes, retakes, and kneads to create the foundation of her work, elaborated with a sonic writing that gives the work form and temporality.
This broad range of inspirations come together in an organic manner, composing a rich musical landscape that we discover with the same pleasure as a souk saturated with vivid colors and heady odors.