is a hub for experimental music & its by-products. it aims to promote the activities of the greek experimental/underground (or whatever one might call it) music scene, as well as its various links internationally.
Obviously London is generally a very loud place. Heavy traffic, trains and constructions create a chaotic and noisy soundscape. However, there are parts of the city which are, most of the time, surprisingly –and pleasantly– quiet. Dulwich village, located in the southeast, is one of those places. The sonic environment is pretty different than in more centralized areas: a soft hum from the distant traffic, a bird that breaks the silence, someone closing a door and the most intense, dominating and charming sound of airplanes passing by over my head.
“34:13_Ambeliona” is the 13th solo release of Mecha/Orga, the project of sound artist Yiorgis Sakellariou. The album is based on field recordings that Sakellariou made in the mountain village of Ambeliona. The captured sounds, originating from a huge variety of sources, from thunders and heavy rain to church bells and insects, were not digitally processed. Selected fragments and passages from the recordings were used in an audio montage which is divided into four parts.
Contains field recordings made in Ambeliona, Peloponnese during three consecutive summer periods (2010-2012). Composed by Yiorgis Sakellariou at Ambeliona, August 2012
mastering & graphic by Themistoklis Pantelopoulos, October 2012
photo from Ambeliona, April 2011
new Mecha/Orga release, on the beautiful orila label, comprising of field recordings that took place in various countries (Belgium, Greece, Lithuania, England) between 2010 and 2012, and were re-composed for the purposes of this piece. According to the press release, 18:36 is divided in four chapters, through which the combination of industrial sound and sound produced without any human activity is dominant.
the release is on silver cd-r. Designed by bend dot gr and orila, it is an edition of 60.
Mecha/Orga is the project and recording name of Greek sound artist Yiorgis Sakellariou, a self-taught musician working in the arenas of computer music and field recordings. Having a background in classical and folk (Mediterranean) music, he came to develop his personal language during the ’00s. Since then, he has been active internationally being responsible for solo albums, having composed music for short films and theatrical performances, leading workshops and ceaselessly performing his music around the globe.
His practice is founded on the digital manipulation of environmental recordings. His palette of sounds is all-encompassing; from vibrating rail-tracks to refrigerators’ static, and from noisy waterfalls to the humming of insects, all may find their place in his arsenal. He only performs in absolute darkness, fostering an all-inclusive and profoundly submerging sonic experience. Also a member of the Athenian Contemporary Music Research Centre (founded by I. Xenakis) and of the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers’ Association. Since 2004 he runs the label Echomusic.
In April 2012 I was in Rotterdam for a mini-residency at Worm studio, in collaboration with sound artist Roel Meelkop. The “concept” was really simple: We had to compose and perform a piece based on field recordings of Rotterdam, combined with sounds from the analog synthesizers that are available at Worm. We started from the environmental recordings, and since Roel is a Rotterdam resident he already had in mind many interest places to sonically explore.
Among others was the Maastunnel, which is dug under Nieuwe Maas river. The tunnel connects the two sides of the city and it plays a very important part in the transportation network. Regarding the sounds it offered, we were not disappointed at all. On the contrary, we were able to hear and record the tunnel’s static ambience, the squealing of the escalators placed at the end of both sides, distant thumps, people walking by and even the security woman that came at some point and asked for explanations about what the hell we were doing there for such a long time. My apologies but that encounter is omitted from the selected recording that’s uploaded.
Edited sounds from the tunnel were used in the final studio piece we prepared which was also performed live a few days later at concerts in Rotterdam, Den Haag and Nijmegen.
new online release from Yiorgis Sakellariou’s Mecha/Orga project, out on Impulsive Habitat. The recording employs original source field recordings that took place in Klaipeda, Smiltyne and Nida, in Lithuania. Recordings, manipulation and composition
by Yiorgis Sakellariou.
by yiorgis sakellariou For the past four months I’ve been living in this rather small (population: 180.00 and decreasing) city in the west of Lithuania, right on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Almost since Day 1, I’ve been exploring and recording my new sound environment and I dare to say that the place is, perhaps surprisingly, a sonic paradise. Forests, beaches, harbors, ferry boats, plus the fact that the city has an extended industrial area, provides me with a great variety of sounds and I still find myself -pretty often I might add- walking around with the recorder at hand. For this post I used the more compositional approach of an audio montage, instead of presenting one recording from a specific location. Nonetheless, the recordings are untreated. The aim is to give a more wide-ranging feeling of Klaipeda’s splendid soundscape.
Lousios is located near the village of Karytaina, at the heart of the Peloponnese region. The flow of the river is very powerful and many people visit it for rafting. Unfortunately, some never get to go back home; the monument built near a bridge did not leave any doubts: a poor fellow drowned there. If you don’t intend to go in the water you still need to be careful not to slip on some narrow paths or wet rocks and try to avoid destroying spider webs. The landscape was impressive but of course the main focus was on the sound, an excellent mix of mighty water floating and the singing of cicadas –typical Greek summer “soundtrack”. At several locations, where the water was hitting on stones, the volume was so loud that we had to shout so we could hear each other. Pure noise…
note: this recording comprises of three seperate parts. track breaks at: 01:21. 03:15
On April 23, 2011 I played a concert in Dresden and the next day I had enough time to explore the city. After walking around in the old town, which is on UNESCO’s world heritage list, I started checking out the new part of the city, and the main pedestrian road led me directly to the train station. I’m totally attracted by the sounds of train stations and as I was approaching the big south station of Dresden I was pretty sure I’d record something interesting. The acoustic environment of the station constantly changes because trains come and go all the time. There is also a more permanent layer of sound, that reverberates everywhere and having a high roof transforms the building into a big speaker.
I just googled it: The old town of Dresden has been deleted from UNESCO’s list. Anyhow, minor detail. The sounds of the station are fascinating nonetheless.
note: this recording comprises of three seperate parts. track breaks at: 01:34. 03:17
In August 2010, I was artist-in-residency at Polymer culture factory in Tallinn, Estonia. During the residency I made several field recording sessions and some of the captured sounds were used in concerts I played in while touring the Baltic countries.
Tallinn is a tourist city, especially the center, the old medieval town. Nonetheless, it is also a very “user friendly” and cozy place for walking and exploring. I was near the seaside, hundreds of meters away from the harbor but the hum of the machines from the ships, combined with distant traffic noise, created a deep drone. On top of that, the sound of the wind blowing through the leaves of a tree and the occasional seagull and other birds’ sounds made an attractive sonic atmosphere. It was characteristic Tallinn ambience witch soon became very familiar –and pleasant- for my ears…
Last summer I visited the island of Kithira and stayed there for a few days. Besides the expected “beautiful sunny beaches”, which, I have to admit, I don’t really like that much, the island also offered some quite more interesting landscapes (and soundscapes of course), like the one near the village of Mylopotamos. The little river and the summer insects provided an ideal soundtrack for a summer’s day. Indeed relaxing, but also relatively loud, the “sounds of nature”, rich and full of micro-details, always attract my attention and motivate me to record them. That’s a far better way to spend my holidays than getting sunburnt on a –disturbingly- windy beach.
Here’s another location from Syria, this time from the south of the country. I left Damascus to visit the ancient city of Palmyra. On the highway, the “Iraq =>” signs made me feel quite weird as I was naively thinking that a small mistake by the driver could lead us to really unknown territories. After a few hours, we had to make a necessary stop. In the middle of nowhere was this little resting place/café called “Café Baghdad”. Although I was actually in a desert, I did not experience the completely silent soundscape, like I did the previous time I was in a similar environment (that was in Wadi Rum, in Jordan). The reason was the constant motor sound of the water pump that was probably used to provide electricity to “Baghdad Café”. I could not resist getting very close and record it. This sample was the only sound that I used for the opening track of my “61:50” release on the Triple Bath label.
The city of Yaroslavl was the last stop of my tour in Russia, in October 2008. Before the concert, I and the other participants of the festival had some free time and a walk along the VolgaRiver was proved to be an excellent suggestion. I was listening to and recording the machine which was being used in the construction of a dock, hammering in long steel stakes in the ground. A rhythmic metallic loop was created, resonating all over the area, as the sound was also reverberating at the other side of the river. My excitement was obvious and so my fellow artists were kind and patient enough to wait for me until the hammering process ended. Of course, the idea of immediately editing the recording and using it in the evening’s performance did cross my mind but I find myself rather unwieldy in these situations. Needless to say though, the specific sample of the recording was finally used in a concert, at Kinky Kong, in Athens, a few months later.