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Kristi's Secrets

Stills from the Secrets Of The Rocks video
Stills from the Secrets Of
The Rocks
But isn't there a danger that by releasing this CD they might be attracting more people to the very places they want to protect? The superb video that they've recently made for The Secrets Of The Rocks, filmed among the goats on the scrubby hills and rocky beaches of the island of Astypalaia is so outrageously, gorgeously evocative that it makes you want to grab your backpack and head there immediately...

"Attracting people that get moved by such a sound is a good thing. Such people were attracted by Kalamáta back in the '60s. That was part of the hippy movement at the time. These are good movements, I believe. But most of the Greek areas that are like we describe in the album have now become like Goa, unfortunately. And this is the social message that I would love to communicate through these songs: that the places should be left like that. We should care about these places and leave their beauty as it is, not try to make it more beautiful in our own terms."

The conversation diverts into a discussion about how her lyrics are very impressionistic, painting with words. I'm sure that when she is singing them her head must be filled with pictures. I advance my theory about how you can tell whether a singer has a picture in their head - be it a single still image of a place or a person, or a whole film where the song has a story to tell. Some singers transmit the picture, others you can tell are just making noises with their mouths, concentrating on the sound rather than the soul.

"Everybody can tell that. The audience is so wise. They have a link with you. For years I was performing almost every night in different places in small clubs and with bad conditions all the time, because I was never a mainstream artist. But whenever I had the image in my mind while I was singing, the audience was like in a mystical dream, they were with me. But a part of the joy also for a singer, is to listen to the sound that you can produce with your voice and change it and make people feel the vibrations of the sound. This is also a nice thing. When it's done mechanically, it's horrible, and when it's done egotistically it's horrible. But when it's done artistically, it's like when you cook - when you put in a little more breathing, or a little less breathing, it's also a joy that can help you concentrate on the image. The most important thing for a singer is to have both included in one."

This feature first appeared in fRoots 237, March 2003


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