New Sounds: 23rd January 2016
Fivos Valachis: January (compilation)
For this week’s “New Sounds” post I have pleasure in sharing a compilation of some of my favourite pieces by Greek pianist and composer, Fivos Valachis, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing online for a few years now. He is a musician – and a man – for whom I have the utmost respect.
Fivos also has an interesting “piano journey” story to tell, which I will let him share in his own words:
“Born in Athens (Greece) in 1959, crossroad of Western and Eastern culture, I learnt as a child to appreciate both classical and popular culture.
In 1967, I fell in love with the piano, beginning the study of the instrument. My adolescent years were years of continuous curiosity and musical experimentation, moving from folk music to hard rock, from pop / rock to classical music. These were also the years that I composed my first “rudimentary” pieces and songs. And I learnt to also play the guitar, accordion, bouzouki and baglama.
In 1977, after finishing High School, I concluded my studies in classical piano at the Conservatory of Athens and then moved to Turin, Italy for graduate studies in Computer Science. As I continued my studies I also played as a pianist in piano-bar, taught piano and harmony, and worked as a private freelance musician. 1978, I was the winner of second prize of UNESCO’s International Competition for original music for children. 1981, parallel to the university, I graduated in jazz technique and improvisation with teacher Giorgio Gaslini.
For the next 20 years, for personal reasons, I largely retired into the background, but composed Greek and Italian songs and music for advertising under a pseudonym. At the same time I continued to compose neo-classical piano music, and gave small private concerts for up to 50 people.
In May 2013 I woke up and decided to share my musical diary not only with friends and family, but through the internet with everyone using SoundCloud and streaming concerts on YouTube. The effect of this decision on my life was unimaginable: new contacts with great musicians, 21 charity concerts in one year in Italy, and many new friends around the world.”
Fivos is indeed a musician who has taken the internet with both hands and found a way to share his wonderful music far and wide. In the process he has gained an enthusiastic and large international audience –
Not only that, but in January 2015 his music “Antinoos – Triptych of Love” won the competition for original music for the International Day of Museums sponsored by the International Council of Museums (icom.museum) – hopefully the first of many more accolades.
Follow: Fivos Valachis on SoundCloud