Panos Amelides: Narrative Electroacoustic

Panos Amelides: Narrative Electroacoustic

Name: Panos Amelides

Where do you live / work:  Leicester, UK

Personal Website:

Favourite Transformations
– Reverb
– Reverse– Time-Stretching

– Transposition

– Filter

– Granulation

– Panning

What makes these manipulations your favourite?

I just love reverb! Do not know why, I just love it. Reverb in combination with filtering and panning are the means to create a 3-D space in my mix. Also, the space of a sound can be created and/or manipulated by transposing it. Try for example to transpose a sound two octaves down without preserving the duration (vari-speed). Not only the pitch and length will change, but also the space.

Generally, I think it is not a matter of favourite manipulation. I suppose it is more about how things fit together, for example how a reverberant ‘drony’, distant sound can fit/combined with a hi-passed, detailed, crunchy, close gestural material and all these with a third sound and so on… For me it’s about the combination of manipulated sounds. A manipulation on its own says nothing. The context is what gives it meaning.

1. How would you describe the type of music that you make?

I would not describe it per se. I prefer not to label musical experience, at least my own creation. Nevertheless, I would use the term Acousmatic to describe my practice, in the sense that my music is made to be reproduced by loudspeakers (of any size)!

2. If you had to use the genre categories to describe your music, which would it be?

Sound Art
Electroacoustic music

3. What types of sounds do you like to use when you compose?

I like using any sounds I can record out in the field; trains, cars, voices, shopping centre ambience, park ambience, restaurants etc. I (almost) never record indoor sounds though…

4. What makes these sounds your favourite?

In order for a recorded sound to be characterised as “favourite” -at least to my ears- during play back it needs to have a musical characteristic, something with which I can relate musically and in a later stage “play” with and/or develop. To be honest, I have a small “fetish”: I tend to record sounds that contain any kind of pitch information (i.e. fans, air-conditions, car breaks, doors creaking etc.). I very much enjoy the play of extracting tonality out of the aforementioned sounds and in this days technology provided the means to do such a thing.

5. How do you go about starting or coming up with an idea for a composition? Do you personally use a similar approach each time? Or is it always different?

In regards to the approach, every piece I compose has a unique methodology, which is the reason why my projects do not sound very much alike in each other. Methodology includes: collecting the material, archiving the material, producing/composing and finally deliver the work in different outputs (if possible). All these steps are different each time, because this process is dependent on the idea of the work.

To answer the first scale of the question, mostly I tend to draw inspiration from cultural and/or political context, e.g. a cultural-religious ritual would possibly give me the ground to built a sonic structure based on the principles governing the ritual itself.

6. Which composers /musicians are an inspiration to you?

G.L. da Palestrina, J.S. Bach, F. Chopin, G. Maller, G. Ligeti, L. Ferrari, F. Bayle, C. Calon, J. Young, G. Gobeil, Autechre, Kim Cascone, Murcof, Brian Eno, Rosy Parlane.

(Just to name a few…)

7. What is it about this music (either your own or the work of others) that engages you so much?

The most important thing for me when I experience Art, not just music, is to be able to enter into a different world, into a journey of emotions, thoughts and redefinition. This experience can be described as a ‘methexis’, that is a sharing of considerations between agents such as the creator of the work, the audience both as individual and as a group.

8. Could you pick a short section from one of your own pieces?

9. What were you trying to convey to the listener in this excerpt?

See above…

10. If you were giving some general advice to someone who was beginning to compose a piece what would it be? What is the most important thing to remember when composing?

I think that the most important thing is to… remember nothing when composing. There is no “recipe” one can follow or can recall during the process of being creative. The most important thing –and that is a personal view of course- is the attitude prior to the compositional process, and that is to let one self listen deeply and try to “enter” the world of the sound environment around them, which can be either their musical preferences, or the actual urban or natural environment etc.

Listen deeply and digest your listening. This is a long process, maybe a life-long one, but it is necessary in order to create Art.  Do not follow any manner or mannerism. Start from imitating something that you like, so for later to enjoy the happiness of never repeating it!