Micro-lieux Nikos Stavropoulos

  • Leeds Beckett University

7/8 Blow Up, Italie

... la dynamique des timbres utilisés sont étonnants, capables de passer de très hautes fréquences à des diatribes subsoniques qui déplacent les pierres. Ondarock, Italie

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Micro-lieux

Nikos Stavropoulos

Alexander Pepelasis

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La presse en parle

  • Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 257, 1 octobre 2019
    7/8
  • Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, no 103, 1 octobre 2019
  • RVP, Gonzo Circus, no 153, 1 septembre 2019
  • Roberto Mandolini, Ondarock, 29 juillet 2019
    ... la dynamique des timbres utilisés sont étonnants, capables de passer de très hautes fréquences à des diatribes subsoniques qui déplacent les pierres.
  • Giuseppe Pisano, Toneshift, 8 juillet 2019
    This is a strong first release for Nikos Stavropoulos, and a very good asset for Empreintes DIGITALes.
  • ST, Electronic Sound, no 54, 1 juillet 2019
    … the record is consistently engaging and often brilliant.
  • Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK, 11 juin 2019
    Predominantly, this is electroacoustic music with quite a bubbly nature, transposing biological data and rapid but arhythmic organic noises into fragile-sounding synthetic tones.

Recensione

Roberto Mandolini, Ondarock, 29 juillet 2019

L’arte acusmatica continua ad essere un universo pieno di fascino per chi si avvicina allo studio della musica elettronica. Capita così che dopo più di cinquant’anni dal celebre trattato di Pierre Schaeffer, la capacità di saper creare realtà immaginarie utilizzando trasduttori acustici è materia di studio nelle più prestigiose Università.

La biografia di Nikos Stavropoulos riporta che è nato ad Atene quarantaquattro anni fa e attualmente è un lettore all’Università del Galles, dove ha studiato composizione con Andrew Lewis e Adrian Moore.

Gli otto brani raccolti su Micro-lieux sono stati scritti tra il 2003 e il 2017. Periodo durante il quale il musicista greco è diventato membro del Music, Sound & Performance Group della Leeds Beckett University, del British ElectroAcoustic Network (BEAN) e della Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association (HELMCA). Riconoscimenti importanti che fanno di Stavropoulos un’eminenza nell’universo elettronico accademico.

La più vecchia tra le tracce raccolte su Micro-lieux e Atropos, quasi undici minuti in cui il compositore inglese d’adozione sembra voler farci entrare in caverne oscure per metterci a contatto con miti antichissimi: le dinamiche dei timbri utilizzati sono stupefacenti, in grado di passare da frequenze altissime a rantoli subsonici che smuovono le pietre.

La sintesi granulare utilizzata da Stavropoulos è una tecnica che permette di creare effetti stupefacenti partendo da semplici suoni monofonici: su Granatum e Topophilia viene creato uno spazio multidimensionale dove far muovere gli oggetti seguendo chissà quali leggi della Fisica. Su Granicus il collega Alexander Pepelasis accompagna Stavropoulos con percussioni marziane.

... la dynamique des timbres utilisés sont étonnants, capables de passer de très hautes fréquences à des diatribes subsoniques qui déplacent les pierres.

Review

Giuseppe Pisano, Toneshift, 8 juillet 2019

Nikos Stavropoulos is a Greek acousmatic music composer, formally educated in the UK and based in Leeds. His strong academic background links his work to the British school of Simon Emmerson and Denis Smalley but, despite his aesthetic being deeply rooted in that field, Nikos has a very personal perspective and carefully blends his Mediterranean heritage within his work, resulting in a complex structure of cultural references and mythical vestiges.

Micro-lieux is a collection of works composed between 2003 and 2017 and connected together by a very unique standpoint about the nature of granular sounds. In all his pure acousmatic pieces Stavropoulos includes organic elements and constant references to botany, seeds and vegetal corpuscles from which new life can stem and fractally evolve into the most complex and unexpected shapes. His gestures never feel as they were artificially sculpted by human hands, instead they happen gently as if they were the most natural consequence of the interactions occurring between organic agents. The composers behaviour in such setting is maieutic, fertilizing the soil and helping to extract and shape a formal sense from the rhizomatic structure of the natural chaos. Compositions such as Granatum, Ballistichory and Nyctinasty are the best examples of this particular attitude, in which the composer feels more like an Arcadian observer of utopic ecosystems and wanders, body and mind, in an introspective elegy, ready to be infused by the truth of a sonic revelation, an acoustic granular epiphany.

A totally different discourse is necessary for Granicus. Here the martial rhythmic patterns counterpointing the concrete sounds set us in a primitive tribal environment of Doric flavour, while the reference to the battle of the Granicus River — the first major victory of Alexander the Great against the Persian empire in 334 BC — together with the ponderous bass pedal entering about half way through piece, serve to establish an epic narrative that flows strongly throughout the piece.

Once again the electroacoustic consciousness blends with the Greek heritage of the composer: while the interaction between percussion phrasing and electronic sounds shares features with the live electronic performances of Gilles Gobeil, the choice of timbres and pace are reminiscent of percussion pieces by Iannis Xenakis, such as the second movement of Rebonds, Psappha and Peaux from Pleiades.

This is a strong first release for Nikos Stavropoulos, and a very good asset for Empreintes DIGITALes.

This is a strong first release for Nikos Stavropoulos, and a very good asset for Empreintes DIGITALes.

Review

ST, Electronic Sound, no 54, 1 juillet 2019
… the record is consistently engaging and often brilliant.

Review

Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK, 11 juin 2019

There’s a strongly academic approach at work in UK-based Nikos Stavropoulos’ first album (perhaps unsurprisingly for someone with a Doctor title). It’s a compilation of eight works dated between 2003 and 2017, each typically between seven and eleven minutes long and each accompanied by their own independent explanatory paragraph that describes or justifies it with reference first to its title, then by the musical process by which it was reached.

Despite being a compilation spanning works over more than a decade though, this still holds together with the consistency of an artist album, because of a relatively singular and persistent approach. Predominantly, this is electroacoustic music with quite a bubbly nature, transposing biological data and rapid but arhythmic organic noises into fragile-sounding synthetic tones. It’s frequently scratchy, but interspersed with occasional thicker and wetter bass noises and rumbling percussive grumbles that add an unpredictable drama. The result is both atmospheric and alien, with a generally intimate, sometimes almost claustrophobic tone.

Pieces like Ballistichory, despite being inspired by seed dispersal, sound organically alive in a way that is unlikely to appeal to anyone with phobias of crawling insects, sounding as it does like angry ant colonies microphoned up while they strategise and attack. Other works like Nyctinasty and Granatum are drawn from very similar source remedies but are a little mellower, despite still being rapid — like a sonic interpretation of what vegetables would sound like if they could tweet like songbirds.

Granicus stands out as an exception, by drawing from ancient-sounding Eastern European and Asian dance rhythms that are contrasted and contradicted against themselves to some degree, but which for the most part hang together as a dramatic piece worthy of a dusty, desert-based, before-the-battle-tension scene for a non-existent movie.

There’s something a little over-familiar about the release as a whole — the combination of wet and bubbly organic grain noises feel a little like an electroacoustic staple and it doesn’t feel like any new ground has been identified with it here. To its credit though it is a polished and accessible example of it, with accompanying texts that serve well as an introductory process for new or sceptical listeners.

Predominantly, this is electroacoustic music with quite a bubbly nature, transposing biological data and rapid but arhythmic organic noises into fragile-sounding synthetic tones.

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