Sakis Papadimitriou


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At the turn of the millennium, screening of silent films accompanied by music became en vogue in avant-garde circles. Multimedia events popped up all around the world and Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau's classic horror movie from 1922, quickly became a favorite. Belgian ensemble Art Zoyd was the first of a handful to write, perform, and record their own soundtrack back in 1989. This Nosferatu by pianist Sakis Papadimitriou is a suite of compositions and improvisations originally performed live with screening and was recorded the same way in the studio. Deprived from its visual counterpart, the work holds its cohesion while retaining strong elements from the film. Of course, the lyrics, sung by Georgia Sylleou, highlight some of the key scenes and the music follows the dark atmosphere of the film, but more importantly, Papadimitriou drew inspiration from classic 1920s piano accompaniments. In addition to piano and voice there is the guitar of George Bandoek Apostolakis, who also seems to trigger synthesizer tracks (unless he plays a guitar synth; it is unspecified). The music remains very tonal and often takes the form of songs, while occasionally getting very close to actual film music. Some passages feel too easy or predictable to convince and even Sylleou, by far the soul of this piece, gets pathologically self-caricaturing in "Love Letter." Elsewhere her operatic voice embodies the gothic atmosphere of the tale. "Gymnopédies at the Castle," "Horror and Nightmares," and "Finale" all provide very strong moments, but the whole thing lacks the originality to be truly compelling.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:55
2 3:20
3 1:55
4 4:22
5 4:01
6 3:31
7 1:49
8 4:34
9 4:27
10 2:56
11 2:21
12 5:19
13 4:26
14 3:35
15 3:20
16 5:34
blue highlight denotes track pick