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09 Jun

Transcendence - 2015

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Tania Giannouli Ensemble

Tania Giannouli and Rattle proudly announce the release of TRANSCENDENCE.

TANIA GIANNOULI ENSEMBLE
Tania Giannouli
Since completing her studies in piano, advanced theory and composition, Tania’s compositions for theatre, film and video have been widely performed at festivals, galleries, biennales and museums. Her work has been praised for its lyricism and originality, and her orchestrations described as having a ‘sensibility that evokes the colour of the Mediterranean’.

Guido De Flaviis
A master of the saxophone family, Guido has performed extensively throughout Europe in a variety of settings, from contemporary new music to electronica and free-improv. He regularly performs with numerous prominent European ensembles and orchestras.

Alexandros Botinis
Born in Moscow, multi-award-winning musician Alexandros is the recipient of numerous competition awards, and has recorded and performed extensively throughout Europe. His interests span a wide spectrum of contemporary music, and since 2007 he has worked predominantly in Greece.

Solis Barki
Born in Athens, Solis is musician, illustrator, and comics designer. He studied Mediterranean, Persian and African percussion with Michalis Klapakis and Lefteris Grigoriou, and is a master of all forms of percussion, idiophones, and didjeridoo. He collaborates with a number of highly-regarded Greek musicians, ensembles, dance and theatre groups.

Giannis Notaras (guest)
Giannis Notaras studied classical percussion and jazz drums but his first musical influences came from his family: his uncle Alekos Vasiliadis was a distinguished drummer within the 70’s Greek jazz scene. Giannis has collaborated with numerous Greek musicians and ensembles.


Transcendence, the first album by the newly formed Tania Giannouli Ensemble is a challenging, musically literate tour-de-force. These richly textured, beautifully balanced compositions are performed with great rigour and passion, but above all they are strikingly honest and direct. This album is full of lyricism and originality, and the used orchestrations can be described as ‘intoxicating, characterized by a sensibility that evokes the colour of the Mediterranean’.

Greek pianist/composer Tania Giannouli follows her 2012 Rattle debut (Forest Stories, with Paulo Chagas) with a recording featuring the newly formed Tania Giannouli Ensemble. With influences as diverse as contemporary classical, Greek folk music, modern jazz, world music and European avant-garde, Transcendence is an intoxicating, musically literate tour-de-force. These richly textured, beautifully balanced compositions are performed with great rigour, lyricism and passion, but above all they are strikingly honest and direct.

Transcendence: going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding.
This suite of compositions reflect on themes of Time, Life and Creation based on impressions and experiences during hard times: the essential and the trivial; lies and illusions; change and responsibility; action and reaction; light and darkness; beauty, emptiness, faith, and fear. For me, this music contemplates a wild and crazy world that surely cannot be all there is, and nostalgia for an as yet unknown happy future. Above all, this album is about my motherland.
Tania Giannouli, 2015



REVIEWS 

 A Closer Listen : http://acloserlisten.com/2015/06/10/tania-giannouli-ensemble-transcendence/

"The first thing one realises when listening to Transcendence, the debut album of the Tania Giannouli Ensemble, is that the substantial quality of the best contemporary Greek music is constantly on the rise, and secondly that Giannouli (who made her Rattle debut with the darkly melancholic, post-industrial Forest Stories in 2012) has made a decisive step forward in her musical path with this fine recording.
Where Forest Stories was minimal and brooding, Transcendence is more open and propulsive. It’s a very mature, complex, and multi-layered work. Each composition has impressive rigour and precision – there are no wasted notes – and together they flow effortlessly to produce an aesthetically and emotionally rich work.
The ease with which Giannouli handles the intricacies (and, at first glance, incongruities) of the material is impressive, blending folk and world colours with avant-garde, contemporary classical and jazz soundscapes, from the melancholic melodies and lush rhythms of The Sea and Sun Dance to the explosive rhythmical outbursts of From Foreign Lands, Obsession and Anti-Masque (a bonus track available from the Rattle site), and the bold imaginative strokes of Mad World.
By turns charming, visceral, lyrical, energetic, but always stimulating, Transcendence will appeal to those with unprejudiced musical instincts, those who are open to new musical stimuli and to using their imagination. This compelling work will leave no one indifferent, unaffected, or untouched.
Dimitris Trikas, April 2015

Best album of the year 2015  - 
Jazzonline Reader Poll & Jazzonline Critics Poll 2015

Last modified on Thursday, 19 May 2016 14:59

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