STM 223 - Constantine

Constantine Skourlis of Bedouin Records
Photography by Dimitra Tzanou

Constantine from Bedouin Records built a sublime sonic narrative including Medieval music, Arabic, Greek folk, contemporary classical and unearthly drone.

Constantine from Bedouin Records built a sublime sonic narrative including Medieval music, Arabic, Greek folk, contemporary classical and unearthly drone.

Constantine Skourlis is an Athenian composer, whose music stands between the heaviness of metallic drone and the graceful otherworldly beauty of classical minimalism. Apart from his more conventional musical endeavours, Constantine has also composed scores for a few contemporary dance performances including “and we are not at the same place” shown at Athenus & Epidaurus Festival 2017 and “Matter” at Beton 7 art space. Moreover, he was commissioned by Michael Kakogiannis foundation to score silent movies “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” by Rex Ingram and “Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis” by Walter Ruttman for the silent movie festival of the foundation. Constantine is also a part of Ekkert, a duo with renowned pianist Christos Sakellaridis. Their 2015 tape, When All Is Lost Nothing Is Forgotten, released on Dubai based Bastakiya Tapes label, is a mesmerizing record described by the label as reminding “an old radio that somehow switched itself on amidst the ruins (of a) long forgotten civilisation”. His most recent record, Hades, released under his own name, is preoccupied with geography - the islands of Kalymnos and Lesbos, as well as with Greek mythology. Constantine recorded his material on foley recording excursions to these lands, capturing sounds from an ancient cave and documenting winter storms in Lesbos. However, these recordings gained new meaning when the island became a point of arrival for refugees. In this regard they also symbolize the current hardships of the island in the times of harsh humanitarian crisis. Thus in this way the album also acts as a form of social commentary and creates a parallel between ancient and modern issues. Sonically, Hades is a record of grandeur, where multilayered walls of drone remind the solemn, threatening and even cathartic nature of the storm, while melancholic undertones add an elegant poetic flow.

Listening to Secret Thirteen mix 223 feels like floating across the rich heritage of various continents and eras - the mix includes Medieval music, Arabic, Greek and Bedouin folk as well as contemporary classical pieces. Some of the records come from the artist’s personal archives. Constantine mentioned that these records “represent a kaleidoscopic view of the human psyche throughout the ages”. The mix has a spiritual feel surrounding it with the inclusion of Religious music by Arvo Pärt or acoustic church soundscapes by Paul Jebanasam from his “Music For The Church Of St. John The Baptist” release. The whole narrative balances between something touching in an otherworldly way, and at the same time retains a connection with a human sense of the sublime as we sometimes experience it whilst wandering through vast old towns, seaside promenades full of ancient buildings or standing under a grand dome. There is also quite a large amount of forthcoming material from UAE-based Bedouin Records label, which merges the aural sensibilities of the region with monumental contemporary music and more meditative forms of techno. Constantine emphasizes the displacement as the driving force behind the mix, thus the selection is not based on a single culture or locale, but rather transforms the subjective sense of location into something more universal. The mix reminds Paul Klee’s painting “View Towards the Port of Hammamet” as it transfers the romantic and solemn view into something abstract and almost ethereal. The pastel tones of the painting create a similarly transparent and tranquil effect. Moreover, Klee was interested in orientalism during this period and this work connects oriental influences with cubism, classical forms with modern techniques as well as experiments with color. These connections have parallels in the mix.

"The theme of displacement was a constant driving force when creating this mix. Pain mixed with beauty make for an intense journey into the human psyche"

01. Constantine - Divide (Bedouin Records, 2017)
02. Arvo Pärt - Magnificat (Universal Edition, 2007)
03. Jacob Kirkegaard - Arc II (Holotype Editions, 2015)
04. Unknown Composer - Medieval music archive
05. Ryo Murakami - Pray (Bedouin Records, 2016)
06. Unknown Composer - Bedouin music archive
07. Nene Hatun - Double Bind (Bedouin Records, Forthcoming 2017)
08. Martijn Comes - Full Moon Ocean (IO Sound, 2015)
09. The Inward Circles - Ancient Arithmetic Of The Hand (Corbel Stone Press, 2014)
10. Arvo Pärt - Kyrie (ECM, 1990)
11. Thomas Köner ‎– Daikan (Mille Plateaux, 2002)
12. Tim Hecker - Mort Aux Vaches (Mort Aux Vaches, 2004)
13. Paul Jebanasam ‎– Music For The Church Of St John The Baptist: IV (Subtext, 2011)
14. SPR - Out (Weevil Neighbourhood, 2016)
15. Stratos Bichakis - Greek Ethno Music Location Recordings (VIS, 2017)
16. LAIR - Invoke (Eotrax,Forthcoming 2017)
17. Ekkert - The Promised Land (Bastakiya Tapes, 2015)
18. Unknown Composer - Bedouin music archive
19. Unknown Composer - Bedouin music archive
20. Vainio & Vigroux - Souffles (Cosmo Rhythmatic, 2015)
21. Roly Porter & Cynthia Millar - Three Brothers (Subtext, 2012)
22. Jim Haynes - Oscar (Editions Mego, 2013)
23. Jordi Savall - Lachrimae Caravaggio (Alia Vox, 2007)
24. Panos Alexiadis - Noumeron (Orila, 2014)
25. Eomac - Prayer Pt.1 (Bedouin Records, 2016)
26. Merzbow - Tomarigi (Bedouin Records, Forthcoming 2017)
27. Arad - Slua Washed (Bedouin Records, Forthcoming 2017)

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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