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Music > Sting plays Athens tonight and Thessaloniki tomorrow June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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The British musician, who is also an actor and an activist, worked as a soccer coach and as a laborer before turning to music. He is playing at Terra Vibe in Malakassa, Greece, tonight.

He may not have a brand-new album out at the moment, but the number of songs that he has written and the public have come to love is enough of a reason to want to go and see Sting play live. The British musician is playing at Terra Vibe in Malakassa tonight and at Thessaloniki’s Lazariston Monastery tomorrow.

What makes Sting stand out is that there is hardly anyone who has not been touched by at least one of his songs, which are simple yet very real and beautiful and have turned into great hits. Sting is not only a musician, but also an actor and an activist, the son of a Newcastle milkman who worked as a soccer coach and a laborer before turning to music.

Inspired by jazz and the Beatles, Sting met Stewart Copeland and then went on to form the Police in 1977, along with guitarist Andy Summers. The band met with huge success, which was also the case for Sting when he decided to embark on a solo career. Once on his own, he expanded his sound and incorporated more jazz and classical music elements.

Sting has remained at the forefront of the music scene for four decades now and has written some of pop music’s all-time classics. He will present many of them at Terra Vibe, joined by a small band. Fiction Plane, an act from North London with strong influences from bands like U2, Eels and Pavement, will open the concert.

Tickets can be purchased at Ticket House: 42 Panepistimiou Street in Athens and 20 Ethnikis Amynis & Tsimiski Street in Thessaloniki. Terra Vibe is at the Malakassa Interchange on the Athens-Lamia highway and Moni Lazariston is at 21 Kolokotroni Street in Stavroupolis, Thessaloniki.

Related Links > http://www.terravibe.gr

Music > Roger Waters to give first Athens show June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Touring Europe for the first time since 1999, Roger Waters performs one show in Athens this Sunday.

The primary force behind several Pink Floyd albums widely regarded as among the most important rock albums ever made, Roger Waters has been concentrating on his solo career for over two decades now. Not surprisingly, however, the magnitude of his celebrated past continues to overshadow the musician’s solo course.

Waters, who filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against his former bandmates in the late 80s to prevent them from touring as Pink Floyd without him, is currently touring Europe for the first time since 1999, with plenty of emphasis on old Pink Floyd material. The itinerary includes a date in Greece this Sunday night on the outskirts of Athens at Terra Vibe, 37 kilometers north of the city.

The show’s first half will consist of Pink Floyd and solo material, while the second half will feature a performance of “Dark Side of The Moon,” the landmark Pink Floyd album that, quite incredibly, has continued to hover in album charts more than two decades after its release. Waters provided all the lyrics and some of the music for that 1973 epic project.

Waters, who has released several solo studio albums since his departure from Pink Floyd’s ranks, beginning with 1984’s “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking,” is convinced that his former Pink Floyd days have not necessarily had a favorable impact on the popularity of his ensuing solo work.

“If my last album had ‘Pink Floyd’ written on it, there’s no question it would be one the biggest records of all time, like ‘Dark Side of The Moon’,” he said in a press conference.

When asked to describe what he thought made the classic Pink Floyd albums so special, Waters, a fresh-looking 62-year-old, remarked: “It’s a combination of things. Look, I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but I do think that the writing is very important. But also, Dave’s Gilmour voice is very important, I think, and his guitar playing too. I think those two things were really, you know, fundamentally important. I mean, they’re both great sounds.”

Waters’s candid appreciation of Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s other key contributor to the band’s major albums, not including their 1967 debut release “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” for which Syd Barrett was the main man before he burnt out on LSD and faded into oblivion, is a far cry from the legal battle that resulted in the 80s, not long after 1983’s album “The Final Cut.” As suggested by the title, it had been billed as Pink Floyd’s last work. The band split and both Waters and Gilmour pursued respective solo careers.

Gilmour’s first outing, “About Face,” sold strongly, but he was unable to detach from his legendary past and quicky recruited Pink Floyd members Nick Mason and Rick Wright to re-form the band, without Waters, which ignited the legal battle. The case went Gilmour’s way and he went on to lead the reformed band, still without Waters, for more albums and tours. Asked whether he thought the idea of Pink Floyd carrying on without him was a bit like the thought of Paul and Ringo calling themselves the Beatles, Waters said: “Well, you know, everybody knows what David’s position and my position is on that question, so, I mean, it sort of doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

Six years ago, Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright reunited for a one-off Pink Floyd performance at the Live 8 benefit show in London. “Ca Ira,” Waters’s entry into the world of opera, was released just months later, in October 2005, and topped the Billboard magazine classical chart.

“I just think that music is music. We all know that music moves us in some tangible way, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a symphony orchestra or somebody twanging on an electric guitar. It’s just a change of palette. I’ve listened to string sections quite a lot making rock ’n’ roll records, so I didn’t feel any sense of mystery about it. But I did have a lot of help in translating my ideas to the musicians, because there are certain conventions and technicalities in writing a score that I had no idea about beforehand,” Waters remarked, when asked whether the idea of entering the world of opera was intimidating.

Asked whether he felt a sense of pride that Pink Floyd’s work will be remembered in years to come, or that his music may have helped some people, Waters noted: “No, I’d just like to be remembered as a songwriter… When I was 15 or 16 years old and I first heard Ray Charles’s rendition of ‘Georgia on My Mind,’ I had no idea who had written that song, but I remember sitting there as this callow youth thinking: ‘My God, if I could ever write a song that could move anyone like this song moves me now, that would be it. I’d be happy.’ Although I think it’s a work of considerable genius, and I’m not comparing myself to Hoagy Carmichael, nevertheless I sense that at some point along the way, you know, I’ve provided that moment for somebody else in some other kitchen.”

Related Links > http://www.terravibe.gr

Ecofilms festival, June 20-25 June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Features, documentaries, shorts and a new prize for Greek films in an atmosphere ‘like the Ancient Agora’

The Ecofilms international festival of films and visual arts on Rhodes, running from June 20-25, promises exciting viewing with 114 films from 39 countries. Seventy-four of the films will compete for prizes in four categories: feature-length, medium-length, shorts, water and wetlands and, for the first time, Greek films.

All screenings are free and many of the directors will be there to discuss their films in an atmosphere that Ecofilms artistic director Lucia Rikaki, introducing the festival program to the press on Wednesday, likened to that of the Ancient Agora.

What’s on? Rikaki mentioned a few highlights. “Echoes of War” (Netherlands) is a feature-length documentary with animated sequences about child survivors of wars and violent conflicts. Director-producer Joop van Wijk was inspired to make it after producing a series of short documentaries about projects for psycho-social care in refugee camps in post-conflict areas.

“The Socialist, the Architect and the Twisted Tower” (Sweden) by Fredrik Gertten, tells the inside story of Turning Torso, Europe’s highest residential building and the first skyscraper designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.

“In ‘Hamas: Behind the Mask’ there are no clearly identifiable monsters, only competing claimants to a harshly, passionately contested strip of land,” writes Canadian filmmaker Shelley Saywell.

“Memory and Detention” (Morocco), by Jillali Ferhati, follows a young man just out of prison as he traces a relative of a former detainee who lost his memory during his long years behind bars. Ferhati wanted “to honor all these people who spend their lives confined in darkness.”

Other treats include tributes: to veteran Lithuanian filmmaker Jonas Mekas, the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, Rhodes and the Dodecanese with rare audiovisual material, as well as to Yiotis Papathanassis, who opened the first cinema on Rhodes. An exhibition of photographs, “Eden: Marshlands of Mesopotamia,” is being shown during the festival at the Auberge de France. The exhibition is sponsored by the Canadian Embassy and supported by Ramsar, MedWet, Ecofilms and the prefecture’s organization for Cultural Development.

Ecofilms “has become an institution,” said Deputy Mayor Yiannis Tsigaros. And it is a growing one. “This year also marks the enlargement of our collaboration, after Ramsar, with another very important international environmental institution: The Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Program joined forces and will be participating in the festival,” said Spyros Kouvelis, Ecofilms president.

Rikaki thanked the Dodecanese prefecture and local administration for their ongoing support, this year to the tune of 250,000 euros:

“It is the only international film festival in the country that is supported exclusively by local authorities,” she said. The Culture Ministry also contributed 20,000 euros.

AMSCA celebrates an anniversary June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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To celebrate its 125th anniversary and the 75th anniversary since the excavations at the Ancient Agora, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, under the directorship of Professor Stephen V. Tracy, has organized a two-day symposium that ends today.

Presently the largest of 14 advanced research institutes in Athens, the American School of Classical Studies (AMSCA), or the American Archaeological School as it is also called, was founded in 1881 by scholars from nine American colleges under the leadership of Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard University. Since then, it has remained a privately funded, non-profit educational institution addressed to the students and faculty of 155 affiliated colleges and universities in North America who wish to study Greek civilization and culture as well as conduct archaeological research. Students have access to the rare collection of the school’s Gennadius library, a treasure house for researchers from all over the world.

The school has also been carrying out excavations and important archaeological surveys since its early days. William McDonald’s work in Messenia and the excavations in the Pylos region conducted by John Cherry and Jack Davis are examples of the school’s archaeological surveys in recent years.

The symposium is an occasion to remind the public of AMSCA’s contribution to the study of Greek civilization.

For information, tel 210 7236313.

Greek art and ancient coins from Alpha Bank June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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New exhibition space in Nafplion hosts the bank’s collection
The building that will host exhibitions drawn from Alpha Bank’s art collection is centrally located in the city of Nafplion.

The large art collection of Alpha Bank was brought to the public’s attention last year, when the Benaki Museum hosted an exhibition on a selection from the bank’s roughly 5,000 holdings of Greek art.

Around the same period, Alpha Bank refurbished its Banknote Museum in Corfu and rearranged the display of its rich collection of Greek banknotes.

Continuing this active cultural policy, Alpha Bank is now inaugurating a new exhibition space at Nafplion with two exhibitions: one on its contemporary art collection and another on ancient coins from the Peloponnese.

Both exhibitions are temporary and will be followed by a series of presentations all drawn from the bank’s art collection.

For the contemporary art exhibition that is currently being held at the new Nafplion exhibition center, Irini Orati, curator of Alpha Bank’s art collection, has chosen works by artists who were born in the Peloponnese.

They are: Steven Antonakos, Andreas Vourloumis, Apostolos Yiayiannos, Thanassis Exarchopoulos, Takis Katsoulidis, Antonis Kepetzis, Anni Costopoulou, Daphne Costopoulou, Yiannis Bouteas, Costas Paniaras, Nafsika Pastra, Pavlos, Dimitra Siaterli, Vassilis Skylakos, Yiannis Spyropoulos, the engraver Tassos and Thodoros Chios.

The exhibition on Greek coins, curated by Dimitra Tsangari, draws from the bank’s unique collection of ancient Greek coins, which is permanently housed in Athens and is accessible to the public.

The fact that most ancient cities of the Peloponnese produced their own coins has left us with a rich variety of coinage from the region.

A selection of coins from Corinth, one of the first cities to mint coins, around the end of the 6th century, depict Pegasus and female deities. They are presented along with coins from regions such as Ancient Olympia, Argolis, Messenia and Sparta.

Rarity

One of the exhibition’s rarest pieces is a 4-drachma coin that was cut during the reign of King Cleomenis of Sparta in the late 3rd century BC.

The new premises of Alpha Bank’s exhibition space are located in a neoclassical, two-story building (a branch of the bank is located on the ground floor) which is centrally located behind Nafplion’s main square. The building used to be an army conscription bureau and later served as a hotel.

Alpha Bank’s new exhibition space will be open daily (except Mondays) to the public from April to the end of October.

Athens Concert Hall’s program “Megaron Plus” June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Athens Concert Hall’s program “Megaron Plus” promises a series of art and science lectures, conferences and exhibitions

At press conference held for the presentation of “Megaron Plus” a new program of events scheduled to take place at the Athens Concert Hall’s new venues, Christos Lambrakis stressed the program’s great national importance. 

The interesting new program — which will unfold at the hugely expensive and technologically equipped Trianti and Skalkottas halls, in the luxurious foyers and elsewhere — consists mostly of lectures, but also day conferences and exhibitions, with the participation of personalities of international standing, mostly scientists or artists.

Megaron Plus is an additional program of the Athens Concert Hall, which abroad is known as the Megaron,” said the concert hall’s director Christos Lambrakis, apologizing for the venue’s un-Greek name and added that the program was initiated and realized by the Friends of Music Society. They were the ones who made the suggestion to Lambrakis, and then the Ministry of Culture, private sponsors, the French ambassador and others endorsed the program, which is aimed at the presentation of the new tendencies in various areas of the arts and sciences and attracting a young audience.

Events

This year’s experimental cycle, which has already started with the recent successful lectures by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Israeli writer Amos Oz, also features lectures by famous architects Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenmann, Mario Botta, Christian de Portzamparc and Nikos Valssamakis, writers Paulo Coelho and Nadine Gordimer, Valery Giscard d’Estaing and director of the Pasteur Institute Professor Philippe Kourilsky.

Megaron Plus also includes a round-table discussion on European and Mediterranean culture with writers Adonis, Jorge Semprun and Philippe Daverio, exhibitions on mathematics, AIDS, Italian design, Matisse and Picasso for children in collaboration with the Pompidou Center, photography, fashion and more.

Rare Roman coin returned June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Greece will keep pressing for the repatriation of artifacts removed from the country illegally, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said yesterday after revealing that Great Britain will return a rare Roman coin to Greece.

Voulgarakis did not mention any other specific cases of antiquities being sought actively by Greece. Last month, Voulgarakis met with Michael Brand, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, to discuss the return of four artifacts at the Getty.

The coin that is due to be returned to Greece later this month had been in the possession of a British antiquities dealer but was handed over to the Greek Embassy in London after an operation by British customs officials.

Greece had used a Council of Europe directive to claim what it termed a national treasure.

The silver denarius coin was produced in 42 BC, when Brutus was in exile in northern Greece after murdering Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.

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