I fell in love with Greece at the age of eight, as I read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey for the first time. In a way, then, this is a project which I have been preparing for my whole life. Greek Culture, be it Ancient, Byzantine or Modern, is for me an immensely rich source of inspiration in both Art and Life. I also find very interesting and stimulating parallels between Greek and Mexican Cultures. Both nations, Mexico and Greece, have to yet to find their own paths in a globalized but chaotic and unjust world. To do so, I believe, they must look inwards once more and rediscover their cultural, human essence, which can make them reconnect to everything that is important and good. Maybe it is time we find the connections that will lead to a multipolar cultural world, and Greece and Mexico will no longer be perceived as being “peripheral” cultures. Maybe Eurocentrism is dead. Maybe we are more alive than ever.
My work has been greatly influenced by a good number of Greek artists from different eras. My readings of Hesiod, Sappho, Plato, Malander and the Classic Tragedies are as important as my readings of Solomos, Palamas, Seferis, Elytis and Ritsos. My listening to Greek folk music is also of paramount significance. The collection of pieces I wrote during this residency are, obviously, influenced by Homer, that universal teacher, but also by the poetry of Kavafis, the cinema of Angelopoulos and (as most of my work) by the music of Xenakis. There’s something about being an outcast, an exiled, about being misplaced, to which I am attracted to since I can remember. Maybe that is why we become artists, because we see the world as being a place where we don’t completely fit into.
The residency that I have carried out at the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture (a superb and indispensable institution) was focused on three main aspects: The composition of a new work for solo flutes (which I am premiering at this concert), the interpretation of musical works from contemporary Greek and Mexican composers, and the will to establish a connection with the cultural community of Kefalonia, hopefully a long term one.
Let me finish this statement expressing my deepest gratitude and recognition to the National Fund for the Culture and the Arts of Mexico (FONCA) and to the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture, particularly to Sofia, Evie and Julianna, whom I see as untamable, present-day Amazons.