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Interview with Yannis Kyriakides

The Mysterious Yanni; Physicality

Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, Show #309/310, 28 April and 5 May 2001. Kalvos on the road in Athens, in the composer’s home. Listen to the interview (mp3) from the original broadcast: Audio Part 1 [0:31:50–1:11:12] / Audio Part 2 [0:41:30–1:13:15]

Yannis Kyriakides was born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1969, emigrated to Britain 1975 and has been living in the Netherlands since 1992. He studied musicology at York University, and later composition with Louis Andriessen. He strives to create new forms and hybrids of media, synthesizing disparate sound sources, exploring spatial and temporal experience. Recent large scale works include the music-theatre pieces The Buffer Zone and Escamotage (FNM Staatsoper Stuttgart), multimedia pieces Dreams of the Blind, and The Queen is the Supreme Power in the Realm (musikFabrik, ZKM). Prizes include the Gaudeamus prize in 2000 for a conSPIracy cantata, and an honorable mention in the Prix Ars Electronica 2006 for Wordless (12 electronic portraits for headphones and PA). He runs the label for electronic and improvised music, UNSOUNDS, is artistic director of Ensemble MAE, and teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag.

Part 1

Audio Part 1 [0:31:50–1:11:12]

[Kalvos] Kalvos & Damian on the road, here in… near the market, where people are exchanging money for incredible goods, and fruits, chocolate and cheap trinkets as well, here in the home of Yannis Kyriakides.

Yannis Kyriakides at his home in Athens
Yannis Kyriakides at his home in Athens. Photo © Kalvos & Damian.

[Yannis Kyriakides] Tradesman, composer. [Laughter]

Tradesman and composer. Welcome to the show.


We met 10 years ago here in Amsterdam, and you had said some things, which I actually quoted in a paper because I was so impressed, and so I decided that it’s time for Kalvos & Damian to come pay a visit to you. Tell us about yourself.

Well, I’ve been here actually 10 years. I think when I met you it was also my first year, so I was finding my way around. Originally I’m from Cyprus, we lived there until I was about 5, and then we moved to England after the invasion.

Hence your accent.

Hence my accent. So then I grew up in London, went to the University of York. I studied musicology there. And there I met Louis Andriessen, because he came over for a festival organized by the Icebreaker Ensemble, I don’t know if you know them, they’re a great group, and who are all from university, basically. So I met him and then I somehow met Steve Martland, an ex-student of Louis’s, and he sort of called him up, said, “Hey, I know this guy, he should study with you. He also plays table-tennis.” [Laughter] And then Louis said, “Okay, that’s fine.” So I came here ten years ago, studied a few years. And as you do in Amsterdam — I don’t know if you felt that when you were — it’s like one year becomes two, becomes five, becomes ten, and then you’ve lived your whole life.

So, we’re going to hear quite a few selections of your music today. I have to ask, because most of the selections that I have heard, are gentle. So let’s start talking about a seminal piece for you. Which one shall we hear first?

Okay, maybe that could be… SPI I guess is the piece that I’m most happy with. And also this other piece, YDA, this piano piece. The reason why they’re seminal pieces, is that about four years ago, I think I had just left the Conservatory and I had a lot of commissions, in a way. Also, for the Asko Ensemble, these big commissions, and I felt a bit out of my depth, in the sense that I felt that I was just writing, and didn’t really know what I was doing. In a way, I always had this idea of what I was writing, but I just felt as though there were all these people who I was writing music for, and I wasn’t really writing music for myself. In a way, I’d lost the whole reason why I was writing. And I think I was also very, very stressed out through work, and just didn’t know how to handle it.

In the end, I just sort of decided to stop, and I just went to Greece for four months, stayed on this island by myself, actually, and then I just thought I’d try to write whatever piece I really wanted to write at that time. It was mostly trying to get back to what I wanted my music to be, like what I wanted music to be. So then, I just wrote these pieces, and those pieces happened to be, I wouldn’t say gentle, but it was probably because of the environment there. I did go back to, sort of, modal thinking. I’d always been into eastern, Anatolian traditional music (that’s like Turkish classical music), Greek folk music and I’d traveled around Greece when I was 18, had learned that music, and I still do play in this group, I play oud, and violin. Basically, Turkish classical music. So that whole modal type of melodic music was always part of me. Not that I would call my music melodic in any way, but it was more like going to modality, and in a way I always had this thing. Louis Andriessen used to tell me I should develop myself in a more harmonically-complex manner, and I never really had that inclination.

You answered the question I was about to ask, especially as a student of Louis, I would have expected that he would have pushed you in that direction, at least to explore those things.

Yeah, and he always used to say that there was a discrepancy, like a highly rhythmically-complex layer, and quite a simple harmonic structure. And I always used to say that I need the harmony to be simple in order for the rhythmic refinement to come through, because if it was rhythmically complex, harmonically complex and texturally complex, you’d lose this. And I remember, I wrote this piece years ago, when I was 21, which was played on the radio in England, was in a big concert there, and it was quite successful. It was no one’s filming, and I had a review of it in The Times, and the review said, you know, “But, Yannis Kyriakides’s no one’s filming was long on space and short on content.” But now I realize, actually that is what my music is about. And in a way, you could call it sacrificing… that I really try to stay away from dialectical situations, and partly that’s why I go attracted to Louis’s music. But I take sometimes twice as long as I need to in order to gain something in the perception of the listener.

And also to work on a certain layer of time perception. Also, in the end, I want the music to not only be heard in an analytical way, an intellectual/narrative kind of way, dialectical I’d say, but really so it works on you in a more profound way. And I guess that’s also influenced by, in some way, the minimalist American composers.

From what you say, it sounds like your concerns are often with the listener. That’s not always the case with composers, I’m really interested if you would pursue that a little bit.

Yeah, I try and stay clear from clichés that create a kind of sentimental effect on the listener. But, not so much just listener, but also the space, in the sense that the music in my pieces often unfolds itself quite gradually, and there’s a very strong structural logic in how that happens. But I do like the effect that the listener has in more, say, minimalist pieces, that you have room for the listener to get into the music and go out, go in and go out, and not feel as though they’ve missed something, you know. So it’s more a relation of time.

Do you give the listener a chance to learn your language in each piece?

That’s one of the most important things, in the sense that often the concept of the piece is quite important in the sound world of the piece. The three things that I say that I like to work on, like the sort of conceptual/perceptual/sensual level, the sensual level being just the pure sound itself, and working with electronics really enables me to really deal with pure sound and the space itself. So mostly everything I do is kind of amplified, and I like to work with really big degrees of dynamics, so very loud and very soft. And a kind of sensuality within the sound itself. I like pure electronic sound, and also if it’s acoustic, I like miking very closely.

You have a gorgeously simple piece that deals with that purity, which is your piece with the sine waves and the piano. It’s an absolutely lovely sound. Does that piece get at what you’re talking about?

In a way that was exactly it, I wanted to work just purely with the sensation of that sound.

That’s YDA, right?

Yeah. That piece I guess you could say is quite influenced by the sort of Morton Feldman sense of structure, that it just starts and goes on, doesn’t necessarily go anywhere, but just has this sense of free floating. The idea of the piece, it’s called YDA, but it’s full name is hYDAtorizon, which in Ancient Greek was a word invented by Parmenides meaning “rooted in water.” It’s an oxymoron, the idea being that nothing can be rooted in water, and if it’s rooted in water it’s just floating. He used it to describe his world view, that people themselves, people’s consciousness was rooted in water, ie. there was no root of it. People are just drifting in consciousness, and this piece is that idea, it just starts and then goes on, and you have this stream of harmonic movement, with piano just picking out notes.

It’s really interesting, because before you said this, I hadn’t considered the idea of the distinction between the time base, that notion of music, and the other art forms in which we can still them in our mind. And sound, we can’t really still, and if we want to still it, we have to leave it up to the creator of the sound to still it for us, to perceive it in kind of a stasis, rather than in terms of something which you’re trying to catch up with. We can look at painting or a sculpture, and the sculpture doesn’t move away from us as we look at it, and we are not running to catch up. Rather, we can take that time and look at it. It seems to me that the idea of “rooted in water” is almost a sense of giving it the time, and Feldman seemed to do that to. If you were waiting for something to happen, you were out of luck. Rather, you were given the opportunity to almost perceive something sitting there in front of you, as opposed to something moving away from you.

Yeah, exactly, that’s right. And it’s more this sense, rather than the film narrative, where something is being played through on the stage, and you’re sort of trying to follow its narrative. It reminded me of the time when I went to Greece, I took this essay which influenced me a lot in my thinking by the Japanese composer Jo Kondo. It’s basically about musical philosophy, and he talked about (I think he called it) the psycho-narrative, which is prevalent in a lot of new music. It’s this kind of expressionism of climaxes and more climaxes. He also formed a musical language which tried to really limit that as much as possible and just stayed in this constant flat, ambiguous level. Not that I have managed to do that because that’s not really in me either. But I definitely think I tried to slow it down a bit for myself.

We listen to YDA by Yannis Kyriakides [0:47:05–1:02:30].

What you said earlier about the sound, it’s true that in all pieces there’s this kind of sound, we’d call it, the sound identity, and it also has to do with the conceptual side of things. For me, “conceptual” means things to do with culture and language, because I don’t necessarily see myself completely in that tradition. So, in a way I feel free to use everything and anything in a composition, and that’s not necessarily even to do with music. But when that’s used I also have to define it, spend a lot of time defining it, and in fact, sometimes the whole piece is just that. So, I might have two or three different things together which don’t necessarily belong, and I don’t necessarily try to form a kind of dialectical argument between them. I just present them like that, and throughout the piece you find yourself listening to these things in different ways, in different orders, but they never really change, never really develop, and they just are like that. So that’s this conceptual side. A lot of pieces I sort of start with this conceptual angle in them.

The other aspect, the perceptual, has to do with time, and how you perceive time through a piece. For that, I found that I do often need a longer period to work with, because it’s often only when you go over this 15-minute, half an hour border that you start listening in a different way. I don’t say I often get the chance to do that, but now I’m sort of trying to only work with longer times.

It’s really true about how the listening changes when you go over a certain length. There’s that ten-minute kind of section of time, which is sort of very traditional…


… in the Western concert canon. Then you go to 15 minutes, and you know, you really gotta do stuff to keep people’s attention and you really can’t keep anybody’s attention past 20 minutes in kind of a Western canon. You’re really lost, unless you break into different movements. And even, operatically, even someone like Wagner with his music dramas, you have scenes, a real narrative being told. But the minimalists, of course, brought us seminal pieces, to use that word again, like Drumming or In C, which go in long periods of time, and that’s 30, 35 years ago, and even more, that we’re looking at that influences, and of course, you grew up in that.

Yeah, it was definitely the biggest influence. I mean, thinking of my musical experiences which were the most powerful, it tends to be longer pieces, because you could lose yourself more in the music. Let’s say your, intellectual defenses are broken down. Also, a piece of Louis’s which really blew me away was De Staat. That also had that effect, just static, long, and it really sort of liberates your way of listening. I also wasn’t so satisfied with concerts, what’s called the “salon concert.” You have a lot short pieces which, you know, all express things in different ways, but in the end they lose their ability to really express something in the music, because the social situation is so defined already. Like, it’s written for flute and piano, has to be a certain length, or played at a certain place for a certain social scene, and it’s going to have to have some relation in a program which is in two parts. Often all those things determine so much more in the music. Even if you hear a beautiful gem of a piece, it still has its limits by which it can communicate. It’s often not really going to change your life.

Let’s put it that way, or let’s say, really gives you a strong musical experience. In my experience, I’d always go out thinking, “Yeah, beautiful piece.” But then I want to hear something by that composer that really blows me away. It was more that, thinking as a composer, it’s just often socially/economically, that’s how it is, you write 10–15 minute pieces for groups of musicians who ask you. I thought you have to maybe reject that, take a bit more risk, and maybe you have to get your own musicians together, put on your own show.

Well, that’s exactly what that would lead to, because you have to walk outside of that circumstance where you’re limited to that 15-minute, “here’s composer number two, here’s composer number three, now here’s our intermission, and here’s the big piece at the end!” You know, it’s such a formal kind of thing, and my own experience has been that if you are commissioned to write a piece and you write something significantly longer, it’s a real problem for programming, it’s a problem for the musicians, and they either will disembowel it by choosing the best parts — which has happened [laughter] — or you will never hear it.

Yeah, that’s right. Often now, if I get a commission, I test them out and ask them if they’re interested in a much longer piece. And if they’re not so interested, I might not be so interested in doing anything, because you want to work with somebody with a more open mentality. It’s also partly that, for the last three years — for the money — I have been doing a lot of ballet music, where you really have to deal with the question of writing 60 minutes of music for an evening. Also in a short space of time, but that you liberate yourself from having to write detail that is going to be very be precious. In the end, I also had some problems working with sound choreographers, as you know… a lot of composers may have experience.

Yes, the listeners on the show cannot see the smiles on our faces. [Laughter]

We love them, but…

We listen to Affectio by Yannis Kyriakides [1:11:50–1:32:00].

Part 2

Audio Part 2 [0:41:30–1:13:15]

We’re back with Yannis Kyriakides in Amsterdam, and we were just off-mic, I was introducing him to a piece of mine that used the numbers 1 to 20 in Czech and he said, “Well, isn’t that funny.” Well, carry this forward, it’s funny.

Yeah, because this piece of mine, SPI — a conSPIracy cantata is based on, a lot of people may already know of it, it’s quite famous, about three or four years ago a CD came out of recordings of number stations on shortwave radio. It’s basically government agencies around the world communicating to their spies in the field, using this kind of coded number messages, which can vary in form, from phonetic alphabet to numbers. Different agencies use it, like CIA, MOSAD, the old KGB and the Czech secret police, the StB. Yeah, there’s some numbers in Czech that I used in the voice, and we had to sort of get the pronunciation right, and it’s quite tricky. And the singer really had to have a good session with a Czech guy to really get it. Not that it really mattered, but it was nice if it was…

If it was right.

Yeah. So, the numbers were in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, English, you know. In fact the whole piece is mostly numbers in words. Yeah, that’s funny. Anyway, this piece is 45 minutes long, and it was one of the pieces that — we were talking before about commission pieces — I just decided I would just write. I just found a nice idea, and just…

Just carried it out.

… yeah, and it was a piece for two voices, piano, and electronics, and just wrote it, and there was a theatre interested in doing something. So, the opportunity came to do it, and it was such a nice experience, because I could develop the piece throughout the couple of months with the musicians, and then we performed it, and I rewrote it and we performed it again in different places. In the end now, we’ve performed it, say, 20 times. So just to simply have the chance to work with friends, develop a piece, and like, rewrite some bits if you want to and finally now we’ve recorded it on CD, and it also won this prize in the Gaudeamus competition.Which was like a big… I find it very cool, because I had a piece done in the festival in like, 1994, a piece for saxophone quartet and MIDI piano, and was a bit depressed by the whole new music scene then. Generally I found most of the music very academic, and I’d think, well, I don’t really belong in this world. Then I went to the festival a year ago, and that was when Michel Van der Aa won the prize. He’s a good friend of mine, and I thought “Oh, they’re opening up to different kinds of music.” Then I heard that Jo Kondo was going to be on the jury, and I always wanted to meet him and in fact go and study with him maybe at one stage, but I think going to Japan wasn’t so feasible for me at that time. So I thought I’d love to meet him, so I entered this piece, thinking, it’s a 45-minute piece, it’s a bit weird, you know, it doesn’t necessarily show this compositional virtuosity that you need to show in these competitions. But somehow, it got selected and it won the prize. I think partly because it happened to be that the jury was Nicolas Collins [see interview in this issue of eContact!], who you also know, and this Hague school composer, Cornelis de Bont, whose music I also really loved, so it’s three composers whose music I really liked, so I guess it wasn’t that much of a coincidence.

Well that’s great, that’s really exciting. Let’s change a little bit. I want to ask you about a couple of pieces specifically. I was very attracted by the choice of orchestration and what you did with the small excerpt I heard of Byrd. Tell me about that.

Well, with Byrd, that was actually a dance piece, and we decided to use virginal. It was based on the music of William Byrd. I knew his music a little, because in England I was a choirboy until I was 16. That was actually from the age of like, 11 until 16. My voice broke quite late, so I was singing soprano for quite a while. Anyway, I loved the choral music of William Byrd, and then I didn’t know the keyboard music so well, so when I heard it I loved it also, because of its rhythmic liveliness. Especially the dances, and the shifts between two and three, and also, the keyboard music isn’t so contrapuntal, but it has this rhythmic, harmonic interest.

It has great harmonic relationship and a great harmonic purity, especially if you do it in the original intonation.

In the mean-tone tuning, exactly. So anyway, I got really attracted to the music, and I sort of took the idea, so on one hand we had the idea of the keyboard music, which was music that was often performed at home, you know, like music entertainment, where often the music would be played by young girls at home. I was interested by the social function of the music, that it wasn’t pertaining to be high art necessarily, but it was, it was very refined music. So all this collection was of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

A very well-known collection which has been reissued, at least in the United States, by Dover Publications. It’s kind of the standard text if you’re going to study a little bit of Early Music, you’ve gotta have that.

Yeah, exactly. So, it was that idea and also the whole question of the virginal, which in a way is an instrument that went out of use because it’s such a quiet instrument.

Extremely quiet. The virginal and the clavichord have a similar mechanism. With the tangent, which is a small metal striker, which hits the string, lifts up the string when striking it, and it vibrates from the bridge to the tangent. Then there’s a muted section from the tangent to the pin block, so you hear both a striking tone and a sounding tone. And furthermore, the dampening of that, plus because of the flexibility of it, you can actually do a thing called Bebung, which is a kind of vibrato that you can do on the strings of the virginal by rocking the keys. Now I’m not sure if you used that.

I didn’t use that, no. Yeah, it’s true, like the note is alive after you’ve pressed the note. And I love the very warm sound of the virginal. The harpsichord has more a harsher, let’s say a more clinical sound. The virginal has this deep, warm, sort of…

And extremely quiet, it’s hard to even imagine in our modern world that you can even hear the instrument.

Yeah, so in that piece, I took the idea of it as just an instrument which is out of date, and I took that to also mean generally everything, all these technologies that, you know, had some use once and then just stopped. So, in the music I try and bring out the popular aspect of the music, a dance aspect. There’s a lot of very sort of rhythmic things. All the samples I used were from the virginal, any kind of sound I got from it, even the box that it was in, you know, I just sampled everything. Also, this slight alienation from the technology itself. It’s quite a weird piece, and also that it was for dance, so it serves the function for the dance. Altogether it’s like 60 minutes of music. So, yeah, that was performed live with a virginal player, Zohar Shefi.

We listen to SPI, #1–3 and #6 by Yannis Kyriakides [0:52:20–0:57:10].

I called it PNE for PNEvma, PNEoui, it’s all derivatives of… I went through this phase of having three-letter titles. I used letters often from Greek roots, little prefixes which are used in different words. I was asked by this bassoon player to write this piece, and I don’t really have an affinity so much for the bassoon, in fact it wasn’t one of my favourite instruments. I had to be convinced, in a way, about the instrument. She was a very good friend, so I decided to write the piece anyway. What I was interested about was it’s all the peripheral noises of the bassoon. In a way, it’s such a clumsy instrument.

Oh yeah, it’s got all kinds of rattles and bangs, and wheezes and such.

The way in Western classical music, we try and reach a real refinement of the sound.

We try to lose the sound of the key clicks and everything, and only have the purity of the reed noise, the tuning of the tube.

Exactly, and I like this kind of dirty sound of the reed, of the keys, of the notes that didn’t quite sound. In a way, with the sound of the piece, it was kind of influenced by double-reed instruments in Greek folk music, and circular breathing, ongoing musicality. Music you’d get in North Greece, in the Pontic region of Turkey, and like the bagpipe or the zurna music. Also, in the same way with the piano, I tried to get all the noises of the piano. So it was a lot of key sounds, playing inside the piano, and the main rhythmic drive in the piece is given by the pedal of the piano just going up and down.

Right, you can see the mechanics of the bassoon, but the piano’s mechanics are disguised. If you add up all the pieces in the piano, there are thousands of them. The mechanics of a single key, with its escapements, its felts and leathers and little straps and such to make it work, it’s really a mechanical work of genius. But there’s a lot of noise, and if there were no strings, you’d have a percussion instrument of high caliber all by itself. [Laughter]

Yeah. One of the musical things I’m interested in is polyphony, like layers of really different rhythmic times, and very, very slow layers and very fast layers. Often the music has a kind of high rhythmic energy, so in the piano it’s sometimes four- or five-part polyphony, and it was just too much for the pianist to do, actually. They sort of asked me if I would, you know… re-do the piece. Simplify it, or add another instrument, and as they were also using a cello player, I sort of re-arranged it with the cello. It lost some of the concept of the piece, and in this recording it’s with the cello, and still has all the musical material, but… I actually re-did the piece, then they asked me to re-do it, just with the duo, with electronics. So then, I used a sampled layer where I used the sounds of the bassoon and the piano. That often happens with me, I write a piece and then do three different versions of for different situations.

Very economical.

[General laughter] Yeah, and in this version it was more like getting the actual music of it out. A few years ago I really got into trying to find my roots, let’s say. Not many people know this, but in the 14th and 15th century in Cyprus there was a French court, and it had a very highly developed, polyphonic music there, which was from this Ars Subtilior, from Avignon in France. A lot of French musicians were imported into Cyprus to play for the court there. So, there exists four volumes of manuscripts, all by anonymous composers, of motets, ballads… It’s called the Torino Codex, because it finally ended up in Torino, but it’s called the Cypriot Polyphony. So it was this kind of strange anomaly in history, that you had this French colony out in Cyprus, which became a French colony because after the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart conquered it, and then once they’d left, the French crusaders set up court there with the Lucinians. It passed to different people, with the Venetians, the Ottomans. But I was really fascinated by this really complex rhythmic polyphony there. Somehow, in this piece, PNE, I explore that much more. But it’s all pentatonic, it’s very simple. I wanted just a simple, clear, very open harmonic world.

That’s what you were talking about earlier, that one world is simple while the other one is complex.

Uh-huh. I mean, it’s pentatonic, modulates all the time, but still has a very open sound because of that. Still, all the pieces I’ve done up until now from the last four years have this very modal, simple element in harmony.

Do you have modal insects, as well? Insects and drum machines! Let’s talk about that one.

That was also one of the pieces that I wrote in Greece when I was working, especially in the summer, and a whole room full of insects. From the crickets outside, sometimes a cricket would come in the house, and you have this amazing electronic sound just next to you.

We get them every fall, and they will come in the house because it’s starting to get cold, and you hear them in all the corners.

Yeah, and some nights when there’d be no wind, it would be like “Night of the Living Insects,” just the whole place. So, for a laugh, I caught a few, put them in a plastic box and stuck a microphone inside. But I did let them go afterwards, I did treat them with respect.

[Laughter] Did you have them sign releases? Who’s their rights agency?

[Laughter] Yeah, exactly. Then I thought, I love these raw electronic sounds. I don’t know, you think of all these mating rituals, and all the functions of the insects, and that that sound is just the body. I drew a connection with the raw music, dance music, dance machine music that we listen to. So I just wrote this piece incorporating the insect sound as a drum machine. It’s just a fun piece, you know, it has more to do with pop music. Then I added a voice to it, also to increase the possibility of performing it. I wrote it with my girlfriend, who’s a singer, so often when I had this program that we’d tour together, with the two singers and the piano for SPI, and together we performed this piece, tetTIX, with the singer and also YDA with one of the other pianists. So it was more like I wanted to make a version of that we can just perform. Which is nice, and the way she performs it is great, because she just has this very sexy presence onstage. It’s really this whole thing about mating ritual, and territorial.

So where are you headed with your composition? Do you have a piece you’re working on now, and where are you going in 20 years?

Well, yesterday I just finished a piece, it’s going to be done with Asko Ensemble in the Holland Festival, and it’s with film, live orchestra with film. It’s kind of a dance film, a collaboration with a dancer and a filmmaker that I’ve been working with for the last three to four years. That piece, RHOmbos, is basically using two bull roarers and all the sounds are just circling around, these sounds that just go, “eeeeeeAAAAAnnnnn…”

Now, I’ve got some quite nice commissions, bigger commissions. The kind of music I’m interested in doing now is really music that is performed in its own space that you make. A lot of them are evening pieces, like one with Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, called strOBO, which is with four snare drums, live electronics and four strobes. And that’s the piece I’m going to start now, also a very long piece. Probably, that will be very much in the area of Drumming, this kind of minimalist piece that unfolds over a long time and really works on your senses. I really want to get a sort of sound world of electronic drums, drums, disco kind of sensation. [General laughter] Then I’ve got a piece with De Volharding, a Dutch group. And that’s also an hour-long piece. I’m going to collaborate with a photographer friend of mine, and we’re going to make a piece that I’d call a composition in spatial sound and temporal image. We’re going to use six or so projectors, and with sound directly on the video, and it’s going to be still frames which are composed in a very sort of musical way, rhythmic way, with the orchestra, De Volharding, a 15-piece band, with their sounds going through delays and reverbs, really getting the sense of a spatial sound, with these moving images.

De Volharding is an interesting group, Louis Andriessen founded this kind of anti-establishment establishment what, 15, 20 years ago, maybe even longer.

Yeah, and they’re still going strong. In fact, it’s mostly sax, trumpets, trombones, it’s a brass sound. Which I don’t really have such an affinity with, to be honest, but I like their mentality, so in general, I end up working with these types of groups that aren’t completely in the sort of classical world, so I know I’ll never write an orchestra piece, it doesn’t interest me to write orchestra music.

You would turn down a commission, wouldn’t you?

Yeah, I would.

Oh, good, I’m glad we have this on tape. [Laughter]

Yeah, I would, because… okay, okay. [Laughter]

No further, no further. [Laughter]

Hand on heart.

Oh, we’ve run out of time.

Thanks a lot.

Yannis Kyriakides, thanks so much for joining us on Kalvos & Damian.

Thank you.

It’s been a long wait.

Yeah, it’s nice seeing you again.

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