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ATHENS – The talented Greek-Cypriot singer-songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis spoke with The National Herald ahead of his upcoming concerts in Atlanta, Boston, and New York (October 21, 28 and November 4, respectively), as well as the three lectures he is expected to give at major universities in the United States.
TNH: Mr. Ioannidis, your musical appearances in the United States are coming up, the last of them being the big concert in New York at the beginning of November. Tell us a few words.
Alkinoos Ioannidis: I am very happy that we finally succeeded! This particular tour was supposed to take place two years ago, but was postponed due to COVID. After what happened, I see meeting the American public as a celebration. I am connected by a long-term relationship with our parish, especially in New York where I lived many important moments. So I’m looking forward to seeing lots of lovely people. Just as immigrants miss their place, I also missed being with them. Also, it’s my first time visiting Atlanta, as well as Boston, so that’s another reason I’m looking forward to it.
TNH: You are even going to give three lectures, at Georgia State University, Berklee College of Music, and Princeton University (October 20, 24 and November 2, respectively). What are the specific topics of the lectures?
AI: Their title is ‘The Word and the Note.’ They will, of course, be in English so that everyone can watch. They refer to what a song is, to the relationship between speech and music, to how this sacred art accompanies man throughout his life, following humanity throughout its journey on Earth. I believe they will be of interest not only to professional or amateur musicians, composers and lyricists, but also to those who love songs as listeners.
TNH: Based on these topics, I couldn’t help but ask what is a song for you and what is the position of tradition in the perception and development of this art?
AI: The song is the breath of humanity throughout the centuries. It is a basic human function and need. It is the shortest path, from the innermost point of our being to the farthest point of the universe. Tradition is more a promise to the future than an affair of the past. When we face it without freedom, we stop being creative. And when we approach it without respect, we destroy ourselves. In countries with a history of thousands of years, like ours, we tend to see it either as folklore, or as something that should remain untouched on a museum shelf. I believe tradition has more to do with evolution than maintenance.
TNH: When was the last time you were in the United States and what are your expectations this year?
AI: The last time I came was in 2012. My expectation is to see our communities flourish, keeping only the good things of our country.
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