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George Myzalis – Review

All music lovers and musicologists in Greece are looking for something new and exciting. We keep complaining about the repetition that runs through all productions in our country. We emphasize on records “like the old days” and we are bored of all kinds of adaptation that spreads like a virus in greek music production. We – say that we – seek a new sound that will renew our soundscape and will cause turbulence in the stagnant water of greek discography. “Old” and “new” are becoming evaluative characterizations pointing to a certain direction, as if music has a certain age or recipe. On the other hand, the audience has it’s own rules and preferences and seems to be comfortable inside all this repetition.  So, why bother?

In the era described above, almost out of nowhere, a “strange” record is out. Entitled “Greece is mine” by Christian Ronig. More adaptation? Yes, but substantive adaptation. The record contains famous greek songs adapted in English and in German which alone is very interesting. The absence of folklore guaranties even bigger interest. “Greece is mine” isn’t made to be found in the souvenir shops below the Acropolis. “Greece is mine” is a different aesthetic approach of greek music and songs through the eyes of a “stranger” who “sees” the past in a creative way. The chosen material is integrated to a new frame, is being refreshed and served again with possible recipients (in and out of Greece).

“Greece is mine” has no boundaries concerning the repertoire, time, etc. It crosses different eras of greek music and brings them close to the aesthetics of the artist responsible of their adaptation. The album provides a certain atmosphere and creates a comprehensive soundscape as the play goes from song to song. As a plus, no certain track can be considered as a “hit”, or as a single. You keep listening the entire album (again and again) without being able to distinguish on of the songs.

Furthermore, it magnetize the listener also by “playing a game” with him in the direction of recognition of each song. English and German lyrics are making this game more difficult and are forcing the listener to be concentrated in his hearing. In other words, “Greece is mine” activates all of his listener’s sensations in a very productive way. At the same time, this edition is deluxe and has a variety of reasons to exist in our music environment. 

It’s been a long time since I listened to a record over and over and over. And repeat it the next day and the day after. Please, try this at home. I am also very curious and impatient to attend Christian Ronig’s live in Stavros tou Notou the 18thof May. I want to see how these songs interact with the audience in a live performance and I also want to observe what kind of people will attend the concert – from which “audience tank” he absorbs his followers?

“Greece is mine” is a complete aesthetic approach of greek music and a significant new proposal. Happy journeys. 

George Myzalis.
Musicologist. 

25/03/18


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