Improv 2

Zoi Efstathiou & Egil Kalman, Giorgos Varoutas, Nikos Sidirokastritis & Ko Ishikawa

19 JAN 2019
Upper Stage
Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes (with intermission)
Two international musical encounters. Greek and foreign soloists bring together the old and the new, the natural and the electronic sound and introduce us to the fascinating world of improvisation.
Onassis Stegi Friends presale: from 15 DEC 2018, 12:00
General presale: from 22 DEC 2018, 12:00

Full price: 7, 12 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 10 €
Groups 10+ people: 9 €
Νeighbourhood residents: 7 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 € | Companions: 7, 10 €

Group ticket reservations at
Two ensembles with Greek and foreign musicians in a unique evening.
Ko Ishikawa, Giorgos Varoutas and Nikos Sidirokastritis meet again after the record “Chronostasis” (2018), to tell electroacoustic stories between ancient and digital time. Sounds as old as the world, made by wood and chords, combine with electronics. Landscapes of Greece and Japan merge. New geographies are moulded on stage with us as sole witnesses.
Zoi Efstathiou and Egil Kalman meet on the keyboards: a “tweaked” piano for Zoi and modular synthesizers for Egil. Together they create a sound environment where the line between acoustic and electronic music is blurred. Through interaction and improvisation, the duo carves new, magical sound objects. Their new composition, “Athroa” will be presented for the first time in Greece.


Zoi Efstathiou: piano, electronics, composition
Egil Kalman: modular synthesizer
Ko Ishikawa: shō
Giorgos Varoutas: guitar, electronics
Nikos Sidirokastritis: drums, acacia wood

The composition is supported by the Arts Grants Committee Konstnärsnämnden.


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The world of improvised music is wide-ranging and it brings together areas we can hardly imagine. The traditional virtuoso at the fair improvises. So do folk instrumentalists on stage. Even classical composers in their concerts and sonatas allowed room for the musician to deploy his skill: it was the renowned cadenza. At a time that borders between genres vanish, musicians may combine in their improvisations all the genres mentioned above.
This is the direction to be taken during the two musical encounters in the OCC. The one ensemble is made up of Ko Ishikawa, a soloist of traditional Japanese music, Giorgos Varoutas, a guitarist who investigates alternative approaches to the guitar, and Nikos Sidirokastritis, a percussion virtuoso, whose sound combines jazz with Greek traditional music.
In the second ensemble, Zoi Efstathiou, a pianist and composer with classical and jazz piano studies, meets Swedish Egil Kalman, an eclectic musician who oscillates between experimental and traditional music.
Ko Ishikawa is a soloist of the traditional Japanese wind instrument shō.  He has studied the Japanese traditional music Gagaku with Mayumi Miyata, Hideaki Bunno and Sukeyasu Shiba. He is a member of the Reigakusha Gagaku Ensemble. He also plays contemporary and experimental music for which he is renowned in his own country and abroad.
Giorgos Varoutas is mainly concerned with the guitar and the art of sound.   His basic domain is the development of alternative approaches to the guitar through techniques and applications of the latest technology. He has participated in international projects that bring contemporary electronic music in contact with music from various traditional backgrounds.
Nikos Sidirokastritis was born in Athens in 1963. His ongoing relationship with music starts in 1978. He studies music from different places. On his way, he meets people, plays music with them, falls in love, raises a family, is happy, sad, disappointed, hopeful, a dreamer. All this and more is what he tries to cut through silence with two wooden sticks.
Zoi Efstathiou is a pianist and composer, with studies on classical and jazz piano. She has a postgraduate degree in improvisation from the University of Gothenburg and she continues her musical research in the Rhythmic Music Conservatory of Copenhagen. In recent years, she has focused on contemporary piano and improvisational music. She has presented her music in halls and festivals in mainland Europe and Scandinavia.
Egil Kalman is a Swedish bassist and electronic music composer, who combines experimental and traditional music. He plays electronic and electroacoustic music on modular synthesizers. He is particularly active on the Scandinavian experimental scene and has been on tours around Greece and Asia.

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