I am Laonikos, a creative artist and wilderness guide living in Helsinki. (I'm originally from Greece, though.) In my work I explore how, through the arts and being in the wilderness, we can learn how to connect to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us. I work a lot with improvisation and enjoy producing events.
I am a GLOMAS graduate, a certified wilderness guide, and co-artistic director of artArctica. In February 2016 we produced our first international and multiarts artArctica festival and we are currently editing a publication with Arctic poetry, poem:a. Previously I lived in London, where I studied composition at Guildhall with Paul Newland.
I work primarily with music, and I am interested in holistic improvisation, including movement, speech, and written word. I love collaborating with other artists, and I often whistle Boccherini when I'm in a good mood. I am currently learning shakuhachi.
(I also design my own website.)
I believe in honesty. I believe in play, in sharing, in dance. I believe that music is a verb, not a noun. That all art is a process which connects us to each other, and its value is not found on a price-tag of an artwork or a CD, but in the change it brings to the people involved.
Nature should be regarded as a community, not a commodity, and we should rediscover ourselves as part of the cosmos, rather than as something separate from it.
As an artist and person I am inspired by improvisatory performance, Japanese philosophy, and the Finnish wilderness. What I find common in all of these is the importance of listening and being present. Through my work I seek to create immersive spaces where listening and being present are as effortless as in the wilderness, and performers and audience are equally important to the process.
Immersive Listening research projects, in which we explore how being wilderness affects improvisation. Our first expedition and performance took place in late August 2015, in collaboration with Helsinki Meeting Point. I am currently writing my thesis on the topic, titled Rewilding music: Improvisation, wilderness, and the global musician, exploring the ways in which the wilderness is embodied in improvisatory practice, and how it can nurture cosmopolitan listening.
On 10 November 2015 we performed umami-music with Chris Bartholomew in Helsinki's Musiikkitalo, a 5-hour improvisation exploring the hinterland between vastness and the momentary, slowness and the sudden, the wild and the tamed: a haiku-music. We released our first EP in Spring 2016. Here is a short extract from the performance (with Amanda Kauranne and Katarina Sjöblom as invited guests):
In January 2015 we performed at Sarawak Culture Centre and Kuching Parliament in Malaysia as part of a camp organised by GLOMUS.
In August 2013 I wrote a talk on life, relationships, the self, nothingness, and meaning, titled Black Holes of the Mind for Three Discourses, a collaboration with Matthew Lee Knowles at the Barbican Centre during Hack The Barbican 2013.
For a complete list of compositions and performances, click here.