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16 Feb

Vagelis Stefanopoulos about Singularity Project

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Vagelis Stefanopoulos belongs to the new generation of the greek jazz scene.  In 2012 he released his debut CD with his Trio “Sailing on a marsipus”, an allegorical journey into the world of contemporary jazz where Modern European jazz, African rhythms and classical music meet. Vagelis Stefanopoulos has led various projects of different musical styles and he will present his last project : Singularity Project in few days. We have talked to him about it.

Singularity Project is a multi national character consisted by some of the best jazz musicians living and working in Greece.  The project is an extension of Vagelis Stefanopoulos Trio and  it portrays a variety of styles (European jazz, African music, modern jazz, rock). Like the pianist's previous project its main characteristics is the extensive use of poly-rhythms, lyrical melody lines and sophisticated compositions that although complex in structure and texture they come across as simple and accessible both to a musicians ear as well as the normal music lover.

1- How would you characterized your music ?
I would characterize my music as a free expression of a very constrained person! What I mean by that is that I like to put boundaries and pigeonhole things in general and in music in particular but when I compose I follow no rules whatsoever. You can find many influences in my music and especially in my last work I made an effort to include as many things as I could that inspire me and seem to make sense as a path to take.

2- Which musician had or have a great influence on you and why ?
I will answer this question by giving my first influence: Glenn Gould. I admire this artist not only because of his astronomical dexterity but also because he managed to find-or create more likely- space for creativity in the field where almost everyone else got trapped into convention and tradition. He is also a risk taker which is the essence of improvisation which is the essence of Jazz.

3- About Singularity Project, is it the first time you present this work ?
Absolutely. In fact it is not officially released yet and it won’t be for some time as I am still looking for the best way to package it and distribute. My hope is that I will at some stage print it in vinyl. Having said that it’s a work still in progress, after our live performance at Gazarte we are going to do a recording session and produce some more tunes.

4- How this project was born and how did you came up with this line up : a Cuban bass player , a Nigerian guitarist , an American saxophonist and two Greek musicians ?
The project came up from a recording date that I arranged as a treat to myself. The plan was to record something that I had in my drawer for quite some time but it only took shape after I found the team of Singularity. I play with Deji and Yoel for a few years now and I have a deep respect for their artistry and creative minds. These two apart from masters of their trade are extremely versatile and on top of that they work very well together. After all Cuba and Nigeria are very related cultures. Since my previous work had some tunes influenced from both Africa and Cuba it made sense to feature two experts of these genres. Yiannis is also a long term collaborator and his ability to find his space in every musical situation is phenomenal. As for David I have known him for many years but it wasn't until recently that I experienced from a close distance his versatile nature and respectful attitude towards music and the process of creating.

5- With which other musician would you like to work with ?
I feel that the band I am working with is fulfilling enough for not letting any room for fantasies.However I would love to work with a poet such as Roger Waters for example. Also one of my daydreams lately is to arrange this new music we make for a string orchestra with the addition of some horns.

6-We don’t see you very often performing in clubs or bars. Why is that ?
I do perform a lot lately with Yoel Soto’s Beyond Clave project and with Neo Yoruba People as well as happy occasions that a friend might ask me to go and jam like I did recently with Banda Valeu for example. Also last year I did quite a few gigs with Yiannis Angelopoulos’ project “Jan Van de Engel”. However I feel that the music I compose for these kind of projects (refering to Singularity and V. Stefanopoulos Trio) needs to be heard without distractions and in the highest possible audio quality. Unfortunately most bars and clubs cannot (and that is totally understandable) provide this kind of standards

Interview Patricia Graire – Fevrier 2014

Singularity Project is:
David Lynch, Soprano & Tenor Sax
Adedeji Adetayo, Guitar
Yoel Soto, Bass
Yiannis Angelopoulos, Drums/sound effects
Vagelis Stefanopoulos, Piano

Singularity: "a point in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density and zero volume"

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Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 18:12