creative arts and stuff
I am Laonikos, a creative artist and wilderness guide living in Helsinki. (I'm originally from Greece, though.) Here's my elevator pitch:
Through my work I explore ways in which creative arts and being in the wilderness can help us connect to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us.
I work primarily with music and I am deeply interested in improvisation as a way of connecting to the present moment. I perform, compose, collaborate, lead workshops, and sing in the shower; I also work with movement, speech, and written word. I see all these as different expressions of similar processes.
I studied composition at Guildhall and I am a certified wilderness guide. I now live in Helsinki where I am slowly graduating from the GLOMAS programme at the University of the Arts. I work seasonally as a guide and as a part-time bartender, which is great.
I believe in honesty. I believe in play, in sharing, in dance.
I believe that music is a verb, not a noun. That it is a social activity, a process, and its value is not found on a price-tag on a CD, but in the change it brings to the people involved.
That nature is something that we should see as a community, not a commodity. That art isn't something a few select people make for the rest of the world to consume, but an activity which is valuable in its many forms – a mother humming her baby to sleep is as valuable a musical experience as a symphonic piece by Brahms. (Perhaps the Brahms can be a bit less touching.)
What I find common in both being in nature and artistic improvisation is the importance of listening, and of being present. In other words, I believe that through engaging in creative arts and being in the wilderness we can allow ourselves to have conversations and connect – to ourselves, to each other and the world around us.
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 Improvisation and the embodied wild: the effects of being in the wilderness on attunement in trans-idiomatic improvisation.
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 man-made - the equivalent of haiku-music. We will be releasing an EP in early 2016. Here is a short recording 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. In November 2013 I gave a talk on "Wilderness Guiding and Changing the World" and another on "How to be Human".
In spring 2013 I completed mtloo1.0 – a Max/MSP looper using Apple's magic trackpad. Here's a nifty video of what it can do:
For a complete list of compositions and performances, click here.