An Interview with Lumiere

  • Please introduce yourself

My name is Thanos Christodoulou and my stage name is Lumiere. I am Greek but I have also lived in France for some years. That’s where I got my stage name, during my postgraduate studies in Lyon, home of the Lumiere Brothers who invented cinematography. One of the brothers was physicist, like me, and since a lot of people told me that my first instrumental works had a cinematic touch, I thought that Lumiere was a suitable stage name for my solo project.

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

An indie classical soundtrack

  • In the beginning of your career you had different projects with different concepts. How did you transition from guitar driven, rock oriented to a more pianocentric sound? 

The truth is that I get bored easily, I always want to move forward, experiment with new things. And of course music is a vast laboratory, once you enter you find corridors with endless possibilities.

  • Who is your favourite classical pianist? And who is your favourite active pianist?

My favourite classical pianist is Sergei Rachmaninoff whose 3rd concerto is also my favorite piano concerto. My favorite active pianist is Chris Illingworth, the pianist of Gogo Penguin.

  • What is your favorite album of the past year?

The album “ALL” by Yann Tiersen.

  • Name one Greek artist (active or not) with the quality to make an international career if they had used Foreign lyrics in their songs. 

The first one that comes to my mind is Manos Chantzidakis, who created lots of great songs mixing elements of Greek and Western music in the most fascinating way. But in fact he almost made an international career, he had won an Oscar also. So, I would add Stavros Xarchakos who wrote some of the most beautiful Greek songs of the last century, with amazing melodies and orchestration.

  • Your music incorporates elements of electronica, nu jazz and classical music among others. What are your audience characteristics and how easy it is to approach the local audience, given that the majority of Greeks are not into this genre?

Well I believe that my audience consists of fans from the whole spectrum of the genres you mentioned and also some pop lovers. The local audience of this music is certainly limited in a small country like Greece, but on the other hand the good news is that good music will be heard quickly and rather easily, especially thanks to some specific radio stations and venus that focus on these genres.

  • When it comes to neoclassical music, If one its benefit is that it becomes more accessible to wider audiences, what do you think a drawback might be? 

I think today wider audiences are not educated enough to understand that having a string quartet playing one chord along with a bunch of samples is not necessarily quality music. But I believe (and hope) that these audiences will soon start to look for stronger feelings, not only an atmosphere, so neoclassical composers must create more dense melodies and structures before the wider audiences get bored of this music.

  • If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be? 

I would create a school of music journalism and bring the old music journalists (that wrote in a fascinating way) in order to teach many of the new ones how to write passionately about music. I see so many articles that lack passion and real love about music.

  • Which book should we read while listening to your music?

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig, which I am reading these days.

  • One last thing we should know about you?

Last year I quit the big city life in order to live in nature, by the sea, in a village in the south of Greece. One of the best decisions of my life.

  • Thanks Lumiere!

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