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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 December 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2016 19 ARTS Art in times of crisis: ‘Greece a political prisoner’ Album protesting against Greek crisis scores top music award Art in times of crisis is often said to be an opportunity to alleviate tensions, promote social cohesion or just provide a creative channel for people to reclaim their voice and raise awareness. Such is the case for young music composers and siblings Ioanna and Areti Spanomarkou, whose latest creation, ‘Greece a political prisoner’, has gained international acclaim after winning a gold medal recognition in the Global Music Awards. The Global Music Awards hold "It's essentially a giant piece of propaganda," he says. "The mural, called The Happy Garden of Life, is a false reality. When you see the painting and the bodies beneath it, you realise the painter has seen the truth of the dystopian reality. "I was uncomfortable with borrowing from religious art," he continues. "But the aim was to show a society which didn't have that discomfort − it's a society that has lost any sense of religious heritage and normal people are held up as gods. All of these choices build towards an effect, and whether the audiences notice them or not, they still absorb them and it helps them understand the story." Meanwhile, Artin John, who is based in Canada, is of course "stoked" for receiving yet another best sci-fi award from his hometown Sydney but "believes in 2BR02B", hoping it will do better in more international festivals "and why not? Get a ticket to the Oscars". Artin John is now focusing on realising his new feature film and pursuing more roles in the US. The Byron Bay "good Greek boy" has starred in the fifth episode of The X-files. He has also appeared in Lucifer, The Returned, The Tomorrow People and Supernatural. a prominent position in the music industry in California, US, and are placed among the top-tier music talent competitions of their kind worldwide, showcasing original music, unique voices and emerging artists. The official announcement made by the awarding institution credits the two Spanomarkou sisters with reviving the Greek spirit during a period of national distress through their music and lyrics. ‘Greece a political prisoner’ is considered to be a blend of traditional sounds and modern style, where one can find traces of contemporary Greek urban culture. Some claim it is reminiscent of rebetiko music, the so-called ‘Greek blues’ genre, due to the profound political and social messages that speak to the listener to inspire action. Accordingly, the words are carefully selected with the purpose of bringing to the surface the emotional stress and frustration suffered by everyday people, such as the young generations who pay the price by leaving for a foreign land. At the same time, however, the lyrics transmit hope and inspire the struggle for a better future, for reclaiming a life of dreams and aspirations. The album consists of 13 songs and nine story-telling like narrations on some of the most debated dimensions of the current Greek economic crisis: unemployment, corruption, injustice, destitution and constraints on freedom. The making of the album would not have been possible without the experienced bouzouki soloist Yiorgos Xenokostas, piano player Vasilis Architektonidis, gifted violinists Nikos Fakaros, ‘Ikariotis’ and Kostas Ayeris and finally, the man responsible for adding a jazzy touch to the album with his saxophone, Nikos Koulouris. Among the collaborating artists are Nadia Karayianni, Sotiris Psullakis and Giorgos Raptis, while the participation of Portuguese songwriter Luis Gonzaga stands out as a testament to the common hardships and concerns uniting the Greek and the Portuguese people. Perhaps what makes the album ‘Greece a political prisoner’ so successful in transmitting the concept of hope for a better future is the fact that it is inspired by everyday stories which exemplify peoples' resilience from Greece, to Portugal, to Europe and the rest of the world. The young composers, Ioanna and Areti Spanomarkou, winners of the golden medal in the Global Music Awards for their album ‘Greece a political prisoner’.
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