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Kristi's Secrets

"I'd like a chance to say a little bit about what made us make this album," says Kristi. "This is a very big part of our life together, and the most beautiful part. One part is the writing of music and playing around the world, and the feeling of this world music community that we were talking about, and the other thing is a kind of a Zen situation when we are just with a small guitar and my flute, by the sea, with nothing, just with sleeping bags, sometimes also with a tent, with very, very few things... and with the minidisc. Years ago we had much more time to do this. Nowadays we are travelling a lot, especially in the summers, but we also do it before the summer season."

"It's an experience that has to do with living by the sea, freely, naturally, being nude all day, living with very few things, just some water and fruit, and the shadow. This is somehow the thing that I want to get across to people - I am talking about the lyrics now, how it started. At the same time, Stathis was playing the tunes that we later produced here. This trance situation that you have when you are living near nature, but especially the very minimal nature that you get in some areas of the Cycladic islands or the south of Greece, where there are no trees, there are few plants, there are rocks and the sea. There are goats and lizards - they are both my very good friends. The sounds of such a place is what we wanted to create with this album. The Secrets Of The Rocks is not a surrealistic term, it's very realistic. If you fall asleep at night on a rocky beach with pebbles, and the wind changes so often during the night so the waves are smaller or bigger, you get a kind of crazy sound of whispers, hints, laughters, steps. You have all sorts of different sounds that even frighten you sometimes. And this creates another world. This is the world that we try to reproduce. You become very sensitive to sounds when you live without electricity and without cars around you. I believe that what is very much more important than just listening to the music that is being released, is to be able to listen to the music which is happening around you every moment."

Whatever their production secret is, there are quite a few other people who have tried to sample environmental sounds on records, and have ended up coming over as just extremely pretentious. On The Secrets Of The Rocks, these elements integrate so well and contribute to the record having an overall ambience, feeling like a complete work. Water, rocks, the whispering wind, the engines of the old Greek kaïkia fishing boats adding an industrial element as a loop. Perhaps they're the glue that holds all the tracks together, the blood that runs through its veins...

"It's not accidental that it reminds you of the blood, because there's a whole community of people that live this way in Greece, a small community mainly of young people, and there is a connection between them. There is a common way of living. There is a belief that these places should be left free. Tourism sometimes becomes very bad for Greece."

This feature first appeared in fRoots 237, March 2003


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