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Dimitri Voudouris - ΑΛΘ=Φ / UVIVI / 1:ΘΦ4 / ΟΝΤΑ

Dimitri VoudourisGreek-born Dimitri Voudouris (b 1961) writes electro-acoustic music in the grand manner. Like Xenakis and Stockhausen before him, he favors long audio-audible poems that utilize complex sounds in an almost symphonic manner, except this is high avant garde in result. And he does not remind of either composer in any concrete way. He does sound very much individual, original.

His four-work release on Pogus (21056-2) brings some important music to our attention. Complex pitch-noise constructions come together and undergo extensive development and transformation in the long-formed pieces we hear. According to the liner notes, he "bases his technical and theoretical compositional approach on research of cognitive psycho-acoustic behavioural patterns in humans, and the behaviour of sounds in relation to continued environmental changes." Hearing in this case is believing.

The music is more in the realm of flowing sustained soundscapes than it is a matter of serialist hot-potato passing. And for such flow the music is invitingly narrative-like. Each work seems a story in sound with no literal meaning but quite meaningful in an abstracted way.

Voudouris to my mind is a major voice in the electronic music of the present. For all that this release gives you an excellent sampling of what he is about. All Gyro Gearloose folks like me will find it most pleasingly enveloping. Definitely recommended.   Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate

A second release by self-taught composer Voudouris for Pogus, a composer from South africa of Greek birth. Here he presents four new works of an abstract level with cryptic titles, of interest for lovers of true computer generated music. "Voudouris bases his technical and theoretical compositional approach on research of cognitive psycho-acoustic behavioral patterns in humans, and the behavior of sound in relationship to continued environmental changes." Reading the booklet and doing my best to comprehend it, it is clear that Voudouris creativity is channelled through highly theoretic interests and make each composition the result of some kind of research. The opening piece is "for text to speech synthesis with computer assisted processing for 24 speaker interactive robotic ensemble". A work that like many others is about communication between man and machine. So be it. But what is the statue of this 'interaction' exactly? For me as a listener it is impossible to detect where and how this interaction is happening. "4? is a "singing synthesis for four artificial female voices". The most quiet piece of all four. He works with aspects of voices that sing in greek, spanish, portuguese and italian. Again this is what I got from the liner notes. But it is not possible to hear this. This may be not the aim of Voudouris. 'Onta' is for voice and electronics. This lengthy piece (28 minutes) is also the one I liked most. The music is very open which makes it possible to follow all manoeuvres and see all colors and to enjoy all subtle changes that constantly occur. Here I started to forget about Voudouris experimental interests,and I just enjoyed the Music.That is what I'm aiming it - DM, Modisti.

A second Pogus CD for Greek-born South-African composer Dimitri Voudouris. His artistic approach is very complex and conceptual - and shrouded in academic lingo. But his oeuvre includes some interesting, even surprising works, such as ??T=F for a 24 speaker interactive robotic ensemble, or 1:TF4, a singing synthesis for four artificial female voices. Lots of ties between daily life and Voudouris' sources and processes. Dense music, hermetic. I'll need several listens if I intend to decipher its codes. - Francois Couture Jan/2011, Monsieur Delire

Born some ten years earlier than his compatriot above, not that age matters, is Dimitri Voudouris who is in fact South African but was born in Greece. Pogus has assembled a handy collection of this self-taught electro-acoustic composer, and ΑΛΘ=Φ / UVIVI / 1:ΘΦ4 / ΟΝΤΑ (POGUS PRODUCTIONS P21056-2) displays an impressive range of avant-techniques and methodologies - computer-assisted composition, graphical scores, treated voices, loudspeaker set-ups, and an interactive troupe of robots on the astonishing 25-minute composition which opens the record. Voudouris provides concise notes in the booklet, and a cursory skim reveals he is brimming with strong ideas about language, emotion, psychology, and contemporary society. Unsettling, uncomfortable music with a rigorous core of steely intellect; what with the alienised processed voices and the general sense of malaise abiding here, I would guess that label boss Al Margolis recognises a kindred spirit and some musical parallels akin to his own If, Bwana endeavours. Very good! - Ed Pinset, The Sound Projector

A South African of Hellenic descent, multi-talented Dimitri Voudouris creates stimulating computer music soundscapes, paying special attention to the dismemberment of the human voice within frameworks exploring "psycho-acoustic behavioral patterns" in constantly mutating environments. This follow-up to the outstanding NPFAI.1 / PALMOS / NPFAI.3 / PRAXIS on the same imprint pursues the same distinctive sonic research, which the composer promotes by recurring to incredibly complex formulas (partially "explicated" by equally intricate graphic scores and meticulous liners). It requires some application on the part of the listener, due to the lengthy duration of the disc at over 73 minutes, but the rewards are compelling. AT=F is an "attempt to attach language to emotions" through the construction of pre-linguistic expressions via TTS (Text To Speech Synthesis) and an ensemble of 24 speaker interactive robots, an erratic hotchpotch that connects with our perceptive system with a certain ease despite the profusion of phonemic snippets and bizarre mutations thereof. Uvivi (Zulu for "daybreak") is a piece for dance (!) based on a Helbing equation, a mathematical procedure which takes into account "the linearity and infinite memory in the kinetic flow of vehicular traffic". Who could imagine that cars stuck in traffic jams in Mozambique (where the main data for this study was gathered) could produce such evocative aural shades in terms of non-linear digital sonorities? While 1:Tf4 is a gorgeous paradigm of unearthly synthetic singing derived by disassembling components from four different languages (Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian), the 28-minute Onta (Greek for "beings") really tests the listener's persistence with its ceaseless contrasts, implosions and explosions symbolizing the energies animating life in a city or familiar environment. "Encounters, events, architecture, weather, gesture, (mis)behaviors – all become means of interaction". Voudouris is surely the first to realize that no words can explain the fractal involvedness of the ensuing concoction.– Massimo Ricci, Paris Transatlantic

The second release for the label Pogue by the Greek-born South African composer Dimitri Voudouris, an artist whose output is never predictable, focuses on the psycho-acoustic nature of auditory phenomena and on the characterizations they assume in different human relations, in macro-contexts, in daily events and in less complex dynamics. It is precisely the morphological study of each sound source that is the starting point from which Voudouris restores some degree of order, organizing sensitive blocks of elements and frequencies - micro-environments that make up the structure of the entire project. "All Tracks in this album to be played loud" warns the author, confirming the chaosmotic nature of a work with a thousand paths ­ one that is both elusive and extremely dynamic. The collage of sounds, arranged between voices and digital machinery, also draws on more traditional techniques of electroacoustic improvisation, without ever relaxing its tension, creating an imaginative landscape, multi-faceted, ever-changing and reverberating. - Aurelio Cianciotta, Neural

This listener had very kind words for Voudouris' first record, and this one does not disappoint expectations. Like the earlier release, this collects four novel explorations of computer processing. Like Iannis Xenakis or John Cage, Voudouris excels at transforming some data set from the world into material that is used for his compositions. For example, the piece “UVIVI” uses data gathered from traffic patterns around a pothole on a road in Mozambique to create a mass of computer-generated sirens of various pitches and densities. One can't help but to compare the sound to Xenakis' UPIC program, a complex synthetic sound, rich but not at all harmonic. That is as easy to comprehend as it gets, the three other pieces are based on more inexplicable and creative strategies. “??T=F” uses speech synthesis to “attach a language to emotions, an area that normal language fails, at the same time attempting to address an emergency in a world where imperfection is becoming less tolerable to social pressure.” These sounds, sometimes sounding like voices, sometimes like horns, sometimes like electronic noise, are then routed through a sixty foot by sixty foot performance space in which twenty-four “robot” loudspeakers listen to the other robots and adjust their position/volume accordingly. Voudouris explains the situation in much more theoretical and technical detail on his web site. What we hear, and I don't know if it is the signal routed to the robot speakers, what the robot speakers hear, or a stereo mix of what transpires in the performance space, is a swarming mass of noises. I am reminded of Eric Cordier's masterpiece Stéllaire Holostée in which sounds are sent to hundreds of wall-mounted speakers and what we hear (on the CD) is the signal sent to the speakers, not the sound of the speakers rattling against the walls. Complex, heterodox, scientific... this is an amazing production of new sounds and ideas. - Josh Rosen, Monk Mink Pink Punk
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