One hundred months, third of East, a small odyssey for solo double bass
Concert tour programme 2017 | Nick Tsiavos solo
7 October | St Pauls' Anglican Church, Athens
8 October | Preveza (Admission free). Municipal Gallery
10 October | "Anna Petrocheilou"hall, Spilaio Perama, Ioannina (Admission free)
11 October | Serres Central Public Library (Admission free)
12 October | Kavala (Admission free). Halil Bey Mosque in the old town of Kavala
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
One Hundred Months, Third Of East, the title and the concept for the album, stems from a comment made by Tsiavos' youngest child, the remark that infinity is actually one hundred months third of east. Explore a sound world where the rich, sepulchral beauty of Byzantium collides with the anarchic energies of Modernism, its residue an intimate study of frayed memory and the loneliness of the psyche.
Nick Tsiavos is a bassist and composer whose work operates at the intersections of a number of cultural boundaries - from 8th century chant to contemporary minimalism, from syncretic hybridisation to experimental improvisation, from church to pub to concert hall.
Since 1994, Tsiavos has been developing new music for the solo bass. As an 'ethnic' musician he is interested in, and informed by, non-canonical discourse, while refusing the tokenism that ethnicity often entails. The diversity of his cultural influences come together to create a new language for the bass - work articulating an intensely personal response to the problematics of contemporary Australian culture.
Tsiavos has performed as a bass soloist at venues including La Mama and the Antipodes Festival (Melbourne), 'Kulcha' (Fremantle), Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music (Hobart) and at the Brett Whiteley Retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He has performed as a bass soloist in concert tours throughout Australia, with the assistance of the Australia Council of the Arts.
Concert tour programme 2016 | Nick Tsiavos' ensemble
6 July | Historical Archives - Museum of Hydra, Hydra (Admission free)
8 July | Piraeus Archaeological Museum, Piraeus (Museum entrance fee)
11 July | St Pauls' Anglican Church, Athens
13 July | Historican Archives of Epirus, Ioannina (Admission free)
14 July | Virgin Mary of foreigners (Panayia ton Xenon), Preveza (Admission free)
Nick Tsiavos is one of Australia’s most enigmatic musicians who doubles as an architect of sound. He fuses ancient sacred chant with otherworldly avant-garde techniques to create performances that enthral and challenge.
Immersion is Tsiavos’ latest and grandest adventure into the unknown. It draws on his earlier work Liminal, a piece that embraces the very definition of its title by exploring the point of movement from one phase to another. “The idea of Liminal was crossing that threshold,” Tsiavos explains. “Finding the energy you need to let go, and then pass through that liminal stage that alters you. This is something similar, but a bit larger.”
Tsiavos combines the texturally rich sacred chant of his childhood with elements of jazz, post-rock and new music. It allows him to narrate the ongoing, and sometimes anarchic, journey of sound. “The phrase that stuck in my head was the one explaining how a frame acts upon a painting, and to have these two texts actually work against each other,” Tsiavos comments. “That was my entry point. How do I take the chant, which is absolutely beautiful music by itself, into the now? How do I engage with it in a way that isn’t just bringing some dusty old music out in a museum context and saying, ‘look, how quaint and exotic’? It’s about how that music of such potency works on the musicians themselves.”
Joining him on stage will be four musicians, some of whom have worked with Tsiavos for 30 years or more. Together, they will develop what Tsiavos describes as “architecture across space” by exploring the transcendent beauty within the complexities of modern art music. “They’re brilliant musicians, but they also have big ears. They listen really intently and try to see sculptural shapes within the architecture. They’re aware that at one level there is a mystery about what happens in a performance when everything is not fixed.”
These improvisational elements create a sense of instability that allows the piece to continually evolve. Although the work is written for traditional instruments – soprano voice, woodwinds, percussion, accordion and double bass – Tsiavos reinvents them by exploring their sonic possibilities. “When people hear percussion they immediately think rhythm. I tend instead to hear texture and timbre. I use these sounds because they are able to disrupt the air as the voice sails through it, and it’s a lovely effect,” Tsiavos explains.
Tsiavos is a Melbourne-based composer and double bassist renowned for his explorative performances that open new sound worlds. “Part of my work is the idea that art can be transformative. This experience is not just something that you consume and walk away from, but something that actually stays with you and changes you,” Tsiavos explains. His music embraces the metaphysical by speaking directly to the soul. Tsiavos studied classical double bass at the Victorian College of the Arts before studying with Dr. Bertram Turetzky and then François Rabbath in Paris. Reflecting on the development of his unconventional style, Tsiavos recalls his childhood visits to the Greek Orthodox Church. “I think the rediscovery of that richness started feeding into the work I was doing,” he says.
Dates:7 - 12 October
Organised by:specs 'n' arts
With the support of:Australia Council for the arts | Thomas Tamvakos Archives of Greek Classical Composers
Media Relations:specs 'n' arts
Production:specs 'n' arts
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