Irtijal 2022

Day 4 – Detailed Program

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

The Ballroom Blitz – 7.30pm

[Works by Aya Metwalli, Youmna Saba, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Raed Yassin and Cynthia Zaven]

Neue Vocalsolisten
Johanna Vargas soprano
Susanne Leitz-Lorey soprano
Truike van der Poel mezzo-soprano
Martin Nagy tenor
Guillermo Anzorena baritone
Andreas Fischer bass

Aya Metwalli voice
Youmna Saba oud
Raed Yassin electronics

Voice Affairs

VOICE AFFAIRS initiates artistic border crossings in which European art music is infected by the diversity of Lebanon’s experimental music scenes. It connects the Neue Vocalsolisten with musicians from Lebanon (Youmna Saba, Raed Yassin and Cynthia Zaven), Egypt (Aya Metwalli) and Palestine (Samir Odeh-Tamimi). From the perspective of contemporary composition, electronic music, sound art, improvisation and avant-pop, they all deal in different ways with the voice, which plays a special role in the music of the Mediterranean region. Filmmaker Panos Aprahamian connects these works through video sequences that oscillate between documentary film and science fiction and in which he explores the phenomenon of the voice. In a combination of concert performance and video installation, VOICE AFFAIRS is a grand narrative about the diversity, contradictoriness, explosiveness and poetry of the Lebanese cultural space.

This project was developed and co-produced by Akademie der Künste Berlin, Irtijal Festival, Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart, Onassis Cultural Center/Stegi Athens, and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.

Passport, With You

Nicky Kokkoli alto saxophone
Yorgos Stenos saxophone, electronics
Artemis Vavatsika accordion, bayan
Dimitra Kousteridou electronics
Giorgos Stavridis percussion

Nicky Kokkoli

Nicky Kokkoli is a saxophonist and an active member of the Greek and European jazz and free improvisation scene. She has collaborated on stage with artists such as Maggie Nicols, Christer Bothén, Martin Küchen, Bram De Looze, Giorgos Kontrafouris, among others.

Yorgo Stenos

Yorgos Stenos is a sonic scavenger; a full-time explorer of hardware stores, kitchens and junkyards in quest for noise-making treasures. His live performances showcase his home-brewed electroacoustic instruments, electronics and amplified objects. He has created audiovisual works, installations and music compositions for instruments and fixed media. He also conducts workshops on sound experimentation for young people and adults of diverse backgrounds.

Artemis Vavatsika

Artemis Vavatsika is a classically trained accordionist, born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She took part in the Italian Accordion Academy series of seminars focusing on accordion, improvisation, composition and the Alexander Technique (2019–2020), and has participated in modern classical and folk music concerts in Greece and abroad, as well as opera and theater productions.

Dimitra Kousteridou

Dimitra Kousteridou is a composer and sound artist who lives and works in Athens. She creates site-specific installations and performances originating from improvisation and using sound as a key medium. Her interdisciplinary practice includes on-call situations with hand-made acoustic synthesizers, natural attributes of artistic objects, and the moving body with its changing feedback in space and time.

Georgios Starvidis

Yorgos Stavridis is exploring the inherent sound potential of percussion, objects and electronic media through making, on-site action and improvisation. His music practice focuses on gesture, texture and timbre within a spatial, perceptual and physical approach, while addressing the relations between activities of listening, improvising and composing as inseparably connected and reciprocal.
He is a member of the experimental music group Trigger Happy and of KeDiMouRa – a music collective focusing on playful and collaborative methods of music-making, currently developing the online radio station He has performed at numerous festivals and venues along Greece and Europe. He has graduated from the Department of Music Studies of the Ionian University and the European Master’s program Contemporary Performance and Composition.

Sofia Zafeiriou

Sofia Zafeiriou electronics

Sofia Zafeir

Sofia Zafeiriou is an Athens-based musician and sound artist. Her current research is focused on transcending non-Western rhythms and modalities using electronic and stochastic interfaces, noise, improvisation and acoustic performatives. She is a long-term member of Khora Community Centre, an initiative aiming to provide open, social and cultural spaces for displaced people in Athens. She has worked with various education-technology initiatives in Athens for locals and newcomers to Greece, and has released a workshop-based course on creative computing. She is a member of the Intercultural Orchestra of the Greek National Opera, as a violinist.