Get to Know...Panayiotis Kokoras
Cycling for solo flute has proved to be one of the most popular FNMC contest works. FNMC members have performed Cycling at the Florida Flute Association Convention, Great Plains Regional CMS Conference, and the Kentucky Flute Society Flute Fair. In this week’s Composer Spotlight we learn more about the composer of Cycling, Panayiotis Kokoras. Greek born and raised, Kokoras now lives in Denton, Texas where he is an Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of North Texas.
Q&A with Panayiotis…
Who/What are your favorite “new” music composers or pieces and why?
There are several pieces and composers I like a lot. However, my favorite ones are these that offer an uncompromising, imaginative, intellectual yet emotional listening experience that transcends my consciousness and changes me a bit after listening to it. I like music that pushes the boundaries of musical expression and experience, introduces new ways of music appreciation, it is mysteriously beautiful, creates high impact drama, and discovers unknown musical worlds that seem familiar to me. Fortunately, there are plenty of pieces that fulfill my likes.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
In sound-based compositions like Cycling, where the flutist "makes sounds" and doesn't "play notes", the relationship between performer and instrument is deliberated upon from the limitations of the traditional classical constraints of “idiomatic” playing or writing. When performing sound, one explores sound possibilities of the instrument beyond its classic sound. It establishes a musical culture where traditional flute training in the West has been forgotten or ignored. The flute is challenged out of its long historical context, its repertoire and its traditional training methods. For a flutist to touch the essence of sound composition, one should totally deliberate oneself from the past and completely redefine the relationship between performer/instrument, present/past, right/wrong, beautiful/ugly, stable/unstable, predictable/unpredictable.
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
I just completed a piece for flute and electronics written for flutist Elizabeth McNutt to be premiered in 2017. For full score preview, please visit: http://panayiotiskokoras.com/en/works.html
I am also looking forward to the performance of my piece Connotations for string orchestra and electronics. The piece will be performed in France in 2017 by l'Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier.
More about Panayiotis…
Kokoras is an internationally award-winning composer and computer music innovator, and currently an Associate Professor of composition at the University of North Texas. Born in Greece, he studied classical guitar and composition in Athens, Greece and York, England; he taught for many years at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. Kokoras's sound compositions use timbre as the main element of form. His concept of "holophony" describes his goal that each independent sound (phonos), contributes equally into the synthesis of the total (holos). In both instrumental and electroacoustic writing, his music calls upon a "virtuosity of sound," emphasizing the precise production of variable sound possibilities and the correct distinction between one timbre and another to convey the musical ideas and structure of the piece. His compositional output is also informed by musical research in Music Information Retrieval compositional strategies, Extended techniques, Tactile sound, Detuned Systems, Robotics, Sound and Consciousness. More information at http://www.panayiotiskokoras.com
If you liked Cycling, check out these other works for flute…
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The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.