The height of grandeur for symphonic music is the power to stimulate a connection with something much greater than the self. Western symphonic music has long held performers and audiences in rapture as musicians and composers delivered an almost alchemical gift of soul-stirring poetry that held an incredible capacity to connect people of any background. The immense ability of a classical orchestra to evoke universal, and often suppressed, emotions is legendary. Today, symphonic music has further evolved into a creature that combines not only the purity of traditional instruments, but the daring exploration of electronic technology to continue pursuing the greatness of artistic experience.
Athens native George Christopoulous is a young composer who paints his narratives with a wholly contemporary outlook. It is inspiring to follow, and personally explore, the connections he threads between his music and the constellations through which our minds all, at some point, tend to flow. He combines the instrumental with the electronic for sonic experiences that are as epic as the names he chooses to bestow on his tracks. With two official albums released, and an additional soundtrack, it won’t be surprising to soon hear Christopoulos’ creations setting the scene for heroic quests or breathtaking cinematic scenery. The music, the inspiration, and the potential are all out of this world
WBM: How was music so pivotal for you in your earliest years?
GEORGE: At first it started as a hobby, mostly. I played on a synthesizer I bought as a teenager, a Yamaha S-03, trying to perform themes I listened to at the time. The first piece of music I learned to play was Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene 4″. I still remember the joy I took after managing to learn something on my own… I was self-taught for the first four years.It was only at the age of 18 I enrolled at a music conservatory–rather old compared to the six [and] seven year old kids at the time! It is obvious though, that it is never to late to pursue your dreams.
WBM: Are there any particular experiences in your life that changed your relationship to music as a whole, or specific genres?
GEORGE: Just one. The experience that changed my life forever. I was at the lobby of a hotel many, many years ago when I was just a little boy. There was a woman playing the piano and other kids of my age gathered around to watch her play and listen. She taught us to play a very simple, really simple, melody on the piano. That was my first contact. She told me I had a pianist’s hand and nice fingers. Looking back now… I am very glad she said that. I never saw that woman again but she was the one to set the wheels in motion.
WBM: It might be easier to imagine musical influences for pop or rock artists, but who do you look up to or take influence from?
GEORGE: Film music composers are my greatest influence. Artists such as Jerry Goldsmith, Elliot Goldenthal, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Craig Armstrong, Philip Glass and more. Electronic music composers such as Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and instrumental music composers such as Stamatis Spanoudakis, Yanni, [and] Enya.
Watch the video for “Quantum State” off of the Alpha Centauri album:
WBM: You are currently studying piano under Elena Christodoulou. Tell us about your experiences in formal music training.
GEORGE: I study classical piano. Formal music training is about becoming a better musician, a skilled performer. It is just ten percent talent and ninety percent effort, and as far as effort goes. It requires a lot. Being a composer and a pianist makes things a bit easier though since you can combine knowledge from each area and understand things faster.
WBM: While your most recent projects are primarily symphonic, you also create other instrumental work. What other projects have you embarked on?
GEORGE: So far I have composed three albums. Two electronic/instrumental music albums and a soundtrack.