”Ithaca”: A new album with musical expressions of Cavafy Poetry in english

3 mins read

Protasis Music and Miltos Pavlou, a social scientist, human rights researcher, composer of musical expression of Constantine Cavafy poetry, present the album ”Ithaca”, a discographic production with a particular symbolic weight. It approaches the prestigious Cavafy poetic capital in english and italian, in music and translations by Miltos Pavlou. You can find it available on all digital platforms.

The same C.Cavafy poems in their original text, titled “Ithaki”(Ιθάκη) had been released in November 2023. That first milestone album is available on all digital platforms, as well as in a limited number of collector’s CDs by Protasis Music-at www.miltospavlou.art.

The 2nd Album, “Ithaca,” like the 1st one, “Ιθάκη,” was recorded between Athens and Vienna, where Miltos Pavlou lives and works. The orchestration was handled by musician and co-producer Sergios Voudris, while the final mixing was signed by musician and producer Stavros Georgiopoulos.

The english translations of the twelve poems by K. Cavafy were done by Miltos Pavlou. Furthermore, “Itaca” was translated and performed in italian, as a tribute to the country where these compositions began in the late 1980s in Salerno, Italy, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea of ancient Poseidonia of the Greek immigrants, to which Cavafy’s poem “Poseidoniae” refers to.

These translations have been made by the composer and performer with respect to the existing significant translations already in place. Expressing musically and in a contemporary and dynamic way the poems of Cavafy that accompanied the composer as well as all of us, already from the first years of adolescence, this collection of musical expression of the poems aims to depart from classical and prevailing approaches to the settings of the works of significant poets.

Miltos Pavlou’s composition and orchestration by Sergios Voudris in close collaboration with the composer, highlight the dynamism and the compelling contemporary significance of Cavafy’s poetry through the combination of classical instruments and guitar in an insightful collaboration with electronic instruments and sounds in a daring and transcendental interpretation of the Cavafy ‘mystic choir’.

The collection aims to contribute to the further recognition of the multifaceted depth and timeless value of K. Cavafy’s poetry reaching out to broader, as well as younger audiences. The original composition and ingenious orchestration strive to transcend an oversaturated approach to his work as a fossilised museum piece on a pedestal we admire from afar, without touching. These compositions come very close, feeling the breath of poetic discourse, to internalise and express it through spontaneous musical creations.
These musical expressions were not part of any ‘project’ but rather spontaneous musical creations of the composer over almost the last four decades, with the poet’s poems serving as significant milestones and catalysts in pivotal moments of life between crisis and elevation. Their dissemination today aims at sharing this aesthetic approach and emotional cosmogony of Cavafy’s poetry with both Greek-speaking and non-Greek-speaking listeners.

The album cover’s Artwork was designed and implemented by Miltos Pavlou. It seeks to encapsulate the multifaceted essence of Cavafy’s poetry. The elements and colours that structure the painting as landmarks and key gravitational poles or float in the picture refer to different layers of his poetry. They range from personal recollections, individual experiences, memories, eros and sensual imagery to broader universal quests, both individual and collective, in life and society in a juxtaposition of gravitas and levitas. Ultimately, the artwork aims to convey elevation and transcendence, which are pivotal concepts at the heart of the composer’s musical expressions. As such this digital painting reflects and resonates the composer’s journey in Cavafy poetry in navigating critical moments in his own life and in the world.

Album credits:
Composer – singer: Miltos Pavlou
Production: Miltos Pavlou – Sergios Voudris
Arrangement: Sergios Voudris
Guitar: Odysseas Tziritas
Violin: Marianthi Karayanni, Nefeli Liouta
Viola: Stelios Papanastasis
Cello: Weronika Kijewska
Ithaca Choir – back vocals: Sergios Voudris
Ithaca Final refrain choir: Spyros Lambrou’s Children Choir
Cod Abandons Antony Vocals: Ilyana Hajduk-Kucheruk
Percussions (voices): Martina Barakoska
Mix – Mastering: Stavros Georgiopoulos @ Diskex Studio
Instruments recordings: Diskex – Sergios Voudris
Voice Recordings: Studio Altāria of Miltos Pavlou @Bruckhaufen, Vienna
Artwork: by Miltos Pavlou
Short bio of Miltos Pavlou

Miltos Pavlou born in Thessaloniki, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. He serves at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) as research project manager. As a human rights researcher and writer with studies in Sociology (Italy) and Law (Thessaloniki), he has worked for several years in institutions and organisations advocating for human rights in Europe and Asia. In Greece, he served as Senior Investigator to the Greek Ombudsman for 13 years and held directorial positions in institutes and centres studying and combating racism, xenophobia, and protecting human rights (such as i-RED, the Institute for Rights, Equality, and Diversity, among others). Currently, he is responsible for the large-scale European survey on LGBTIQ people in 30 countries conducted by FRA (EU LGBTIQ Survey).

Parallel to his main professional career, he composes and creates songs in Greek and English, reflecting on themes of love, travel, people and places, memories and the transformative power of life experiences.

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