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Music

Sounds of Cyprus and Alkinoos Ioannidis at Princeton University, Nov. 2

NEW YORK – Sounds of Cyprus and Alkinoos Ioannidis come together in collaboration on an educational and musical experience at Princeton University, Wednesday, November 2, 6:30 PM, in the Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall. Sounds of Cyprus will present an educational concert of traditional Cypriot music with a six-piece orchestra followed by a lecture from acclaimed Cypriot singer-songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis titled ‘The Word & The Note.’

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture delves into “what is a song? When do words function as sound and notes represent meaning? Why is tradition synonymous with progress? Does poetry die when sung? Why do all religions have hymns? How, when reading the written word, do we actually perceive a musical score? What is the difference between style and character? What is of its time, what is timeless and what is just a waste of time? How many centuries can fit within three minutes? The song!”

Cypriot singer-songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis. (Photo by Costis Matzios)

The organizers’ statement continues, “we are going to look at its source, the course it follows and where it leads; the obvious, but also its intangible elements, the way it engulfs us and how it weaves its way in and all around us. This lecture is for professional or amateur songwriters, composers, lyricists, musicians and singers. And, mostly, for those who love song as listeners.”

The event takes place on Wednesday, November 2, 6:30 PM, at Princeton University’s Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall. The performance and lecture are being sponsored by Princeton University, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton, the Near Eastern Studies Program at Princeton, the Princeton University Humanities Council, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Princeton Department of Music and the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Sounds of Cyprus is a Cypriot orchestra co-founded by Elena Chris and Peter Douskalis in New York City. The group performs the traditional music of Cyprus in varying orchestrations and styles that both consciously honor the time period of composition and period instruments as well as perform with a modern approach. Elena Chris, vocalist and front person of the group, sings the traditional songs in the Cypriot dialect of Greek, as well as in Turkish for songs that contain lyrics in both languages. Peter Douskalis, Music Director, plays the laouto, oud, mandolin, and guitar in the group, switching between the proper instrument as needed for the authentic and modern orchestration of the pieces. Alex Tasopoulos plays the violin and the viola, Erikos Vlesmas plays the contrabass, Stavros Papadopoulos plays the pithkiavli and ney, and Mark Katsaounis plays percussion. The group has been active in the United States, promoting the traditional music of Cyprus to American audiences as well as Greek and Cypriot communities.

Sounds of Cyprus performing in New York’s Times Square. (Photo: Courtesy of Sounds of Cyprus)

Alkinoos Ioannidis was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. He studied classical guitar at the European Conservatory and in 1989 moved to Athens, Greece. He spent the next three years studying theater at the National Theater Drama School and philosophy at Athens University. In 1993, he signed to Universal Music. As a singer-songwriter, he has released eleven solo albums, most of which have gone gold or platinum. As a guest singer, he has performed on more than 40 albums with various artists. He has also written songs, and arranged and produced albums for other artists, as well as music for dance and theater, while his symphonic work is often performed by orchestras in Greece and abroad. His influences range from traditional Cypriot music, Greek composers of the last decades, Byzantine, Classical and Rock. The last twenty years, he has given more than 1,700 concerts in Greece and Cyprus and 100 concerts abroad.

Follow Sounds of Cyprus on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoundsOfCyprus. Instagram: @SoundsOfCyprus

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