The first album of Vassilis Philippou, entitled ‘Sol Aurorae’ (dawn sun), will be released in the end of January and it consists of nine compositions, of which six are based on poems written by him; five in the Cypriot dialect and one in Greek. For the composer, the dawn sun is a continuous reminder of vitality and of inquiry; it is contact and communication with our fundamental emotions. This album emerged from a deep need to record and to share a part of his music-making, that is rooted in the culture of Cyprus – in the sounds of which she is composed and the words that portray her. It consists of compositions influenced by the musical traditions of the eastern Mediterranean, in which he has immersed himself both as a musician and as a devoted listener. The Cypriot dialect is central to these pieces, giving both meaning to the sound and shape to its expression.
The music of the album could be described with the term ‘Contemporary Modal Music’, which refers to the relationship and the direct connection of ancient ‘modes’; musical scales and rhythms, with a geographical interest in greater Middle East. The shaping of these musical traditions is the result of bonding and interaction between people from various cultures who met, communicated and lived together artistically. Aesthetically, apart from the use of language, the music creation of the album has been accomplished in an idiomatic approach on composition and performance; in its structural material (scales, rhythms, forms) and its expression distinctiveness (melodic phraseology, improvisation).
“For as long as I wander, and wherever I may go, I always carry a love for this place in my heart; within the words and the sounds that express and depict it, that give meaning to my being, as a person and as an artist.” V.P.
* Here you can listen to the album online (audio files in separate folder)
Vassilis Philippou - voice, percussion (frame dr., tombak, req)
Michalis Kouloumis - violin, viola
Giannis Koutis - oud, guitars
Meir Gassenbauer - ney
Michalis Messios - double bass
Efrén López - kopuz
Zacharias Spyridakis - lyras
1. Aura I
2. Sol Aurorae
3. Dark-skinned beauty
4. Olive tree
5. A few words about you
6. The letter
7. Across the river
9. Aura II…Amphilyke
Vassilis Philippou (b.1991) studied piano and composition at Royal Holloway University of London and continued with two masters in Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. He completed two research studies on the relationship of sound & space and on the music of the Mediterranean as an influence to classical composition. His compositions are influenced by European classical music and by the music traditions of the eastern Mediterranean, expressing his artistic vision in a way that is shaped by his interaction with people and the environment.