“His proclivity for both monumental and historic performances is well known, but with his latest Project, 32-year-old Marios Joannou Elia, once again, exceeds all limits.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Encompassing Contemporary Concert Music, Opera, Multimedia and Cultural Events
—Marios Joannou Elia (*1978) has surpassed the customary boundaries of contemporary music to become the first composer whose singular work, the open air multimedia symphony AUTOSYMPHONIC (2010/11), was performed in front of a live audience of 20,000 people, achieving 55 million television viewers and two billion media contacts worldwide. In addition, he served as Artistic Director for this large-scale production. His work encompasses compositions in many diverse genres and backdrops for Opera and Modern Concert including Multimedia and eminent Projects for Cultural Events. The central concept of this work, “The Concept of Polymediality” (2003), is based on a qualitative polymediality that is comprised of two dimensions … the work-immanent composition and polymediality (alongside all the associated media) during the process of staging. [Read Essay]
April 21, 2015
SUSTAINABILITY IN EU CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
NRW Kultur International
As an expert of the European Capital of Culture initiative, Marios Elia was invited by NRW Kultur International and Goethe Institut to the Ruhr.2010 district in order to exchange ideas with representatives from art and creative economy as well as cultural politics on potentials, perspectives and sustainable impact of the “Capital of Culture”. Among others, high-level discussions took place in Düsseldorf (NRW Ministry of Culture), Gelsenkirchen (Urbane Künste, Ruhrtriennale International Arts Festival), Wuppertal (NRW Kultursekretariat) and Essen (Zollverein).
March 16, 2015
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE & FIRST PRIZE
at the WPV Convention Athens
On March 8th, the music video “Soliloquy” directed by Aris Akritidis (protagonist Mia Zalukar) was awarded First Prize and the “Award of Excellence” at the WPV Convention Athens. Elia’s “Soliloquy” was recorded at ORF Studios in Vienna by Kostas Tosidis (guitar). It is included on the CD Album “”Staubzucker – Guitar Music in Ensemble Formations” (Aesthis Records).
February 25, 2015
THE CONCEPT OF POLYMEDIALITY
published by Winter Verlag, Heidelberg
The article “Polymedialität als Konzept” elucidates Elia’s concept of polymediality and its application (with concrete examples). It is published in Thomas Hochradner’s (ed.) book entitled “Zur Ästhetik des Vorläufigen”.
“Monumentalist: Elia is considered in the music scene as the man for monumental events”
Südwest Presse [May 29, 2015]
“Elia is well-known for his extravagant and popular music events”
Augsburger Allgemeine [May 28, 2015]
ULMER ORATORIUM: “THE CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR”
an open-air music spectacle for over 400 musicians
The highest church tower in the world belongs to the Ulmer Muenster (Ulm Minster), which is at the center of Ulm, Germany. Its completion in 1890 was celebrated by the performance of the oratorio “Elias” by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Alongside the huge instrumental and vocal forces of “Symphony No. 8” by Gustav Mahler, Elia was inspired to design a large-scale project.
Elia had been commissioned by the City of Ulm to compose and direct ULMER ORATORIUM: an open-air music spectacle for over 400 musicians – the highlight of celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the completion of Ulm Minster. The premiere will take place at the Muensterplatz, the central square of the city (in front of the church). All major music groups of the locality will unite for the first time and work together towards the premiere of this ambitious oratorio. The performances scheduled for end of May 2015 are cancelled. More info to come. [More about Project]
AWAKENING YOUR CREATIVE SOUNDTRACK
Everything You Know is Wrong | Rialto Theatre, Limassol
—How acoustics, sounds and noises influence our everyday life, give value to our experiences and ultimately become a significant paradigm shift in the onset of creativity. The question is not whether you are able to hear but rather whether you are willing to listen. A speech on rediscovering life’s musicality… [Read More] [Learn More] [Watch Talk]
EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE ECoC
pafos 2017 – open air factory
—In 2013, the Board of Directors of the Organisation Pafos 2017 had unanimously elected Marios Elia as the Artistic Director of the European Capital of Culture 2017. Elia is the youngest person ever to direct a European Capital of Culture. Pafos 2017 sets up a contemporary Open-Air Factory with its cultural machinery installed mainly outdoors. The motto “Linking Continents, Bridging Cultures” covers a wide range of projects, organized into several production areas such as “Myth and Religion”, “World Travellers” and “Stages of the Future”. [Read More]
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
A group of 120 youths, who received a full-year’s free instruction in drumming in order to allow them to elicit sounds of the automobiles from the event, were chosen from the many casting auditions held in collaboration with the Baden-Wuerttemberg Popular Music Academy.
THE CREATION OF A CAR ORCHESTRA
consisting of 80 vehicles – from classic to modern super cars, busses and trucks
“The world’s first automobile orchestra”
Deccan Herald of India
In 2010 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile, Elia created “the world’s first automobile orchestra”. The central theme of the event provided the medium from which the music was generated: The sounds the cars made served as the basis for a nine-movement symphony, written for a large symphony orchestra, a car orchestra, a percussion octet, an adult chorus, a children’s choir and electronics.
The car orchestra consisted of a selection of 80 cars: classic cars, supercars, racing cars, roadsters, limousines and luxury vehicles, microcars, American cars, pickups, buses and trucks (Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar, Aero, Rolls Royce, Cadillac, Trabant, etc.).
Stage 1/6: Car-castings all over Germany
More than 120 vehicles were evaluated by Marios Joannou Elia within a period of ten months. Each one was separately explored, and all extracted sounds – up to 35 from a single car – were meticulously documented (recorded by a sound engineer, filmed and photographed). During the casting, Elia analysed in great detail, the playing technique, tempo, articulation and loudness of each individual car element to decide which ones could be employed in the performance.
Stage 2/6: Audio recordings in studio
—After the car-auditions were completed, Elia evaluated all recorded sounds in a studio. The tone frequencies were also measured. Based on their qualities and individual characteristics, he chose 80 vehicles, including representatives from the entire automobile history. These formed the car orchestra of which approximately 800 car sounds can be found throughout the score. They were recorded in a professional studio which was especially built for this occasion, thus providing aural guidance and parameters to the performers.
Stage 4/6: Rehearsals on every car
The cars were scored either solo (featuring a single car element), and in smaller groups or orchestral tutti. Rehearsals began at first on percussion instruments, then on simulative utensils and finally on the cars themselves. In total 120 youths and 14 professional musicians took part in the one-year preparation process.[More about Project]
FEATURED MUSIC VIDEOS
for guitar quartet
“A performance which one is not likely to forget”
Classical Guitar Magazine (UK)
In STAUBZUCKER (2007), Elia creates an enormous amount of possibilities to provoke specific sounds by employing unusual playing techniques. The score requires 23 percussion instruments to articulate the diversity of required sounds. Additionally the instrumentalists create sounds with their own voice and body by clapping, flipping and rubbing on paper. A hint at the composer’s purpose gives the score: “Since the happily-failed encounter of Odysseus with the sirens, all songs have become ill” (Horkheimer/Adorno). Actually, it is not the destiny of the Greek hero that attracts the composer but the means with which its literary creator Homer causes tension. His own technique of using parallel plots, flashbacks, introductions, perspective and narration changes are the stimuli for which Elia declares are “like powdered sugar (Staubzucker) that can be used for a highly explosive alloy. The sound of the guitars bursts like the ‘diseased’ songs from the sirens”. [Read More]
Performed by Miscelanea Guitar Quartet, Salzburg (Aesthis Records).
for pop band vocal ensemble, symphony orchestra and choir
“This is neither classical nor popular music, but something new and challenging”
Conductor Johannes Harneit at m:con TV
According to Elia, polyaesthetics arise out of the polymedial employment of materials which is systematically intended and constructed for the development of the artistic process. In this respect, hybridity is a central aspect of his concept of polymediality. In terms of a musical amalgam, genre-like, it manifests in the confrontation between contemporary classical and popular music. In 2011, commissioned by m:con-mannheim:congress GmbH and the City of Mannheim, Elia composed DER TRAUM (THE DREAM) for symphony orchestra, choir and the German pop music band “Söhne Mannheims”. Xavier Naidoo, Germany’s most prominent soul singer, sang the solo vocals. [Read More]
The piece was performed by Söhne Mannheims, SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart, Staging: Horst Hamann.