An interview with Sakis Gouzonis, electronic music composer

Sakis Gouzonis.

Tell me about your childhood.
I was born on 16 March 1978 to Nicolas and Frederica Gouzonis in Thessaloniki, Greece. When I was ten years old, we moved to the town of Elassona, which is located at the foot of Mount Olympus, the mythic place of the twelve Olympian gods. At the age of twelve, I asked my parents to buy me an electronic keyboard. When I touched my first electronic keyboard for the very first time, I felt a strange power all over my body. I instantly understood that music is my gift. I can still remember myself sitting at my parents’ home in Elassona, spending countless hours every single day playing, composing and arranging music.

When you were a kid, who was your favourite musician?

When I was a kid, the music from the 80’s and 90’s had a major influence on me. Some of my favorite music composers were Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Yanni, John Williams, James Horner, Alan Silvestri and Danny Elfman. When I first listened to the music of the aforementioned great music composers, my life took a whole new direction.

I dont know anything about Greek traditional music. Does it have any impact on your music?

The traditional music of Greece represents a unique fusion of eastern and western styles. The main instrument played today on most parts of the country is the violin, which arrived in Greece by the late 1600’s. The violin gradually pushed out an older instrument called the lyra, except on the island of Crete and a few other islands where the lyra is still played occasionally. Personally, I don’t listen to this type of music.

Why are your music tracks available as free downloads? What do you expect from that?

By giving away my music for free, hopefully what I will get is a lot of people on my website and at my gigs. Consider it a promotional tool. Besides, everything will be free in the future. The advances we have seen in the last few years -cars that drive themselves, humanoid robots, 3D printers, etc.- are only the beginning of what is yet to come. People will not have to work to feed themselves, clothe themselves or put a roof over their head.

As a musician, you travel constantly. What life lessons have you learned so far?

One of the most important lessons life has taught me is how incredibly valuable and important time is. We need to respect time and be very careful about how we spend it, because we can never stop time or move backwards in time. Our time is now, not tomorrow. Now is the time to follow our dreams and give our gifts back to the world.

I am twenty. What life advice would you give to someone my age?

Invest in your friends. You need two or three close friends, who you can talk to about everything. Friendship has fallen on hard times in our times, but it is one of the most precious gifts we can have.

What is your opinion about Indonesia?

The entire country is lovely. The people are really kind, open and eager to share their culture with visitors. Also, the food is very delicious. And the beach sunsets are so wonderful. There are also many great temples and other cultural sites, which I would like to visit some day. Of course, some day I would love to perform at the Aula Simfonia Jakarta. I’ve heard that it’s the best and most sophisticated concert hall ever built in Indonesia.

What do you think of yourself?

I think the three words that can describe me the most are happy, funny and mysterious. Friends usually associate me with the color yellow; sunshiny, bright, smiley and amusing.

Do you have an opinion on the guitar?

The guitar is an instrument that can be easily picked up by anyone, but its tonal options are limited. Compare a good guitar with a good synthesizer, and you will see that the synthesizer has way more tonal options; it can sound like just about anything. As much as you try to make a guitar sound like a tuba, it really won’t sound much like a tuba. On the other hand, you don’t bring a synthesizer to a campfire; it’s usually bulky, and you most likely can’t plug it in.

In closing, what are your views about the Greek government?

I never mix music with politics. My music appeals to people of all political views. Given the opportunity, I would like to invite all Indonesians and all people around the globe to visit my website at sakisgouzonis.com , where they will be able to stream and download my electronic music for free.

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