ION from Greece: "I was fascinated by the idea of creating music for my favourite poet"
ION from Greece approached the ballad "King of Thule" with the objective to remix a track in which the ballad's melody is embedded in a tonal and rhythmically repetitive veil.
ION, what did you find most interesting in remixing "King of Thule" as one of the nine international artists?
I have long been fascinated by Goethe as a poet, so this was my main motivation. Scientific research may suggest that myths and symbols are mainly to be found in religions of indigenous peoples. The myth of the pact with the devil, however, represents a very good example of how superstition can survive in a much more rational society. Goethe's greatest intellectual achievement is probably Faust – a work that kept him busy for close to 60 years. Faust is among my favourite works.
The ballad "King of Thule", written by Goethe previous to the epic Faust, is very mythical and scary. The idea of participating in a project evolving around one of my favourite poets appealed to me right away. The dreamy and melancholy music by Emil Klotzsch touched me deeply. I originally planned to create something that was based on a complicated rhythmic structure. However, in the end I did want to steer away from the dreamy story and therefore decided to go for a version in which the ballad's melody is embedded in a tonal and repetitive veil.
Where do you see the role of music in communicating culture?
In my opinion, music is the greatest of all arts. Music does not only affect and enchant many people – music also tries to express feelings that cannot really be expressed.
In 1996, Giannis Papaioannis became ION, using a laptop as a musical instrument and mobile production studio. Since then, he has released 14 different works on labels such as Kinetik Records, Klik Records, Instabil and LoveZone, as well as through his private blog nocamera.wordpress.com. ION is currently working on his new album and taking part in the side-project Mechanimal, in which he focuses more on spoken-word performances.
Translation into German by Panagiota Balanga. Goethe-Institut Greece, September 2011