The official (Vangelis approved) English translation of his interview for VIMAgazino, published September 25 2016
Upon the worldwide release of his album, Rosetta on Friday, 23rd September 2016, the Greek composer speaks on VIMAgazino about the secrets of creativity, his working method, his relationship with Greece, along with the inner substance, the meaning, and the noesis of music.
By Pavlos Papadopoulos
How is the exploration of space and of the dawning of the Universe interconnected with the work of the great Greek composer, Vangelis? The worldwide release of his latest album entitled Rosetta, two days ago, marks the completion of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) space mission of the same name. The Rosetta Spacecraft, named after the Rosetta Stone, which held a key role to decoding the Egyptian hieroglyphics, completed a few days ago the study on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, broadening even further the horizons of our knowledge on the genesis of the solar system. Upon this event, Vangelis, a figure of the Arts whose radiance spreads beyond his 1982 Academy Award for Best Original Score of the film Chariots of Fire, gave to VIMAgazino a rare interview. In this interview, he talked about music not in terms of the “music industry”, but regarding the inner substance, the meaning and the intellectual nature of music, the code of creation, the way in which masterpieces, achievements, and every single expression of matter and intellect are displayed, and, finally, the “system” with which he himself works and composes music. It is absolutely certain that whoever reads this interview will be creatively puzzled and positively caught by surprise once they are enlightened on the fundamental truths crystallized in music; these truths may appear to be abstract and philosophical, but they exert influence on and are applied in whatever we think and do.
Pavlos Papadopoulos: Vangelis, what is the very characteristic of the Rosetta Space Mission that inspired you to create an innovative new album? How did you end up with these compositions upon the occasion of this space mission?
Vangelis: To begin with, Pavlos, I am quite impressed by your interest in future issues regarding space, because, despite being of utmost importance, they do not seem to concern the wider public as much as they should. There is a variety of reasons that led me to be engaged in this project, but the main reason is that the Rosetta Mission attempted to give information and data on issues of interest for the scientific world through numerous scientific studies that were conducted. Nowadays, more than ever, mankind is trying to trace the beginning of the world and find out where life and man originate from. One of the many ways to explore this is the studying of the oldest areas of Space, and, more specifically, of planets and comets found at an earlier state and carrying elements not found on other planets, such as Earth.
PP: This is a great scientific endeavour.
V: The endeavour, the persistence, the organising and the scientific knowledge applied by the involved scientists with incredible accuracy to such a long voyage of 539 million kilometres, can only be viewed in awe. Just consider the fact that in voyages of this kind, it is never known if the final destination will be reached, and, once reached, it is unknown if what is sought will be found. In the case of Rosetta, this voyage is considered to have been crowned with absolute success. Furthermore, the results will be gradually publicised in time.
PP: This is not the first time your name has been associated with space missions. You have already collaborated with NASA. Many of us remember the mission to Mars in 2001 for which you composed Mythodea.
V: Indeed. In all this space pandemonium that is witnessed nowadays, I can’t help but mention other NASA missions, and especially one which is somehow similar, i.e. Mission Juno. The goal of this mission was to collect similar information from the primitive planet Jupiter, which is our protector absorbing many hazardous space bodies that could potentially hit our planet. I have been working on this mission from its very set-up until now that it has reached its destination. For example, my Foundation (Research, Music, Arts and Sciences Foundation Evangelos Papathanassiou) held one of the early NASA conferences for this mission in which 55 important scientists participated at Volos, my birthplace, in 2007.
PP: Juno arrived at Jupiter recently, on 5th July.
V: It did. It is now in orbit around Jupiter collecting information. The mission will be completed in approximately 18 months.
PP: Does this mean that in 18 months, we will have yet another complete musical composition, just like that of Rosetta?
V: Most definitely.
PP: How did your collaboration with NASA start?
V: The first contact was with Carl Sagan. I did not know him when back in 1980 he was presenting the series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which dealt with the space. In the episodes of that show, he used almost all of the music I had composed up until that point. There was a share of people, mainly scientists, who had been watching my work without me being aware of it. There was a current. Later, in the 1990s, I met Dr Scott Bolton, a NASA theoretical physicist and astrophysicist. We have been collaborating ever since.
PP: You have stated that since a very young age you have been wondering about the Universe, its formation and modus operandi. It could be said that you have been exploring the Universe ever since through your innate relationship with music. How is music interlinked with the Universe and what is the “fundamental answer” about the Universe which you have obtained through this exploration?
V: At the tender age of 3-4 years old, it is impossible to know things in the same way you do as an adult. To be more specific, I knew metre, I knew rhythm, I knew harmony. However, all these were nothing else but music. At this age, my knowledge was clearly instinctive, without having to think whether it is right or wrong, since this was all I would perceive. Thus, observing and studying the surrounding nature, I was realizing that the same system with which all things around operated, was identical to that of music. Later on, discovering the etymology of the word Cosmos, I witnessed through music the absolute correlation: how upheaval is transformed into world (Cosmos), and, consequently, disorder into order, and dissonance into symphony. At this point, I would like to note that the word Cosmos is incorrectly used in other languages instead of the word Universe. It was the admiration of our ancestors for the Universe that made them call it Cosmos, i.e. something beautiful (a piece of jewellery etc.).
PP: I, therefore, assume that you approach man as being part of nature, of the Universe; a Universe which is ruled by music.
V: Man can be nothing else but part of the Universe, but also a member of the Universe. At this point, I would like to mention a habit I used to have as a little boy: whenever I met people for the first time, regardless of their age, I would tell them “You know what? I know your melody!”. Once been told that, most of them would caress my hair with their hands and laugh. It’s remarkable that when you carefully observe and listen to nature, you get to know what you need to know. So, to make a long story short, the conclusion I have drawn on what you are asking me about is that music and Universe are identical, and, if you allow me, music is the universal code that rules everything. Using the term “music” I do not refer to a musical repertoire of various music pieces but to the ancestral surges of the Universe.
PP: How can someone reach this state of deeper awareness?
V: The information we collect from the environment are of two types: the tangible one that is perceived through our senses and the more theoretical one that is product of our intellect. You get a tangible piece of information when you see, you smell, you touch etc. whereas the senses of freedom and justice are more theoretical. The tangible information obtained through our senses lead us towards perceiving the world in three dimensions. With our intellect, on the other hand, we perceive the world in more dimensions. Nowadays, science speaks of 11 dimensions and nobody knows what the future holds.
PP: I have a question which has made me speculate a lot on these “11 dimensions”. If the whole reality spreads in 11 dimensions, then, can whatever exists in the three dimensions and time (even us ourselves) be a display or reflection of the rest of the dimensions in the specific shell of reality? Furthermore, when whatever is expressed disappears from this shell, i.e. when it dies out, can we say with certainty that it exists in the rest of the dimensions which apparently comprise the core and fundamental web of reality?
V: Everything at its proper time. Let us leave this question for another time. I would seize the opportunity, however, to tell you that especially in this kind of questions there are two things of enormous importance. It is the distinction between objective and subjective, and between reality and truth. When these two are well-balanced in a person, then questions of this sort can be much more easily and faster answered. Notwithstanding, we, the human beings, are capable of perceiving space in three dimensions. According to modern Physics, it is now accepted that the creation of the world started in a single dimension, the length of the superstrings. Hence, Euclid’s definition: a line is continuous length without breadth. In other words, space started being formed in a single dimension, i.e. length, and from that point onwards it developed into three or more dimensions. Time is not a dimension. Aristotle calls time “a measurement without substance”. It, therefore, is the measuring unit which measures the changes due to the laws of genesis and attrition. This means that we do not get older because of the course of years. We measure change with years. From that point onwards, we can assume with our intellect that there are even more dimensions but for the moment being we are expecting further scientific research to prove them.
PP: I would like to ask you something I am really curious about. For many years, there have been groups of people in Greece and abroad who analyse the lyrics of Mythodea. Many things have been said and many interpretations have been offered. All this time, we have not heard your own opinion about this. Would you like to share it with us?
V: I haven’t, indeed, spoken my mind on this issue all these years. I can tell you that nothing is by chance. In the lyrics of Mythodea, there is a percentage of encryption, sometimes at the 1/3 of the word, and at some other points at ½. Nevertheless, Pavlos, the alleged secret never lay in there. It is located somewhere nobody has ever mentioned until now. It lies within the music of Mythodea, not the lyrics. That’s all I can say. Besides, there are other symphonic works I have composed without any lyrics too which are based on the codes of Creation.
PP: You have said that music lies within man or that it is innate in the man. How can you be so sure?
V: In the mid-1970s, I mentioned that “every human, animal and vegetable being, even the inorganic matter itself, bears the imprint of the Creation cycle. Sound always follows the frequency of changes of this cycle as the operational code of universal dimensions and, simultaneously, as progenitor. Let us try, then, to scrutinize our memory and let us remember. Only then we will manage to decipher the code of the Creation of the Universe, and, consequently, of ourselves. What a marvellous and divine key the music is!” No matter how many times you ask me after this statement, I will keep replying to you: “Metre, rhythm and harmony equal music, which transforms upheaval into world, disorder into order, and dissonance into symphony.
PP: This acceptance, however, ignites a basic question: If existence and man are regulated based on the code of music, what is the balance and limits between free will and predisposition? Is free will part of music too?
V: Regarding free will, I would say that not only it is positive that we have it, but negative too. That is because free will predisposes right judgement and maturity, which, in turn, as predisposition elements, lead us again, but this time in a reverse way, to harmony etc. The natural thing is to have the music leading man and not man leading the music. As long as we feel superior and try to lead the music, we will keep reaching a dead-end, like the one we are experiencing today. On the contrary, when the music leads us, then we feel its bliss.
PP: Is there a difference between the music produced with electronic means and the music produced with natural instruments?
V: It is of no importance and makes no difference whether music comes from the so-called traditional natural instruments or modern electronic sources. It all depends on the user. There has been a lot of debate on an issue of no significance. That is because no matter where the pulsating vibrations come from, they tend to be similar in the end. If I may come back to the previous issue, I shall refer to Heraclitus who remarks that fire makes water evaporate, but at the same time, water extinguishes fire. The man, however, always has stable temperature despite the fact that he consists predominantly of water. This is harmony. Although I do not tend to use quotations, I shall mention that according to Philolaus, harmony is defined as “the unity of many mixed elements and an agreement between disagreeing elements”.
PP: Earlier you referred to sound as “the operational code of the universal dimensions and, simultaneously, a progenitor”. You said that man is “part and member of the Universe”, and as soon as you meet a person you perceive him as music. Would we, therefore, call music “rational energy”? Is music a product of intellect?
V: We could say that it is, whether someone views the Universe as a single theory, in terms of mathematics, or someone perceives it as entities. The whole of the Universe is alive like an organism. I would like to add something about the knowledge of music. If the outstanding scientists of each field, the Nobel Prize winners, had the appropriate scientific musical knowledge, I’m sure that the perception of the Universe and the answers to many questions would have been by far more complete.
PP: What do you mean?
V: For example, let us take the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle on the constant movement in the orbit of electrons. If scientists had musical knowledge, they would know that in order to go from Do (C) to Sol (G), you don’t have to go through Re (D), Mi (E), Fa (F). In the past, music was one of the five branches of Mathematics, namely arithmetic, geometry, stereometry, music and astronomy. At the time of tribulations, when libraries were demolished, books burned, Academies closed, the Olympic Games halted, the time of the great destruction of the Greek Intellect; it was then that music was detached from mathematics, just like the Parthenon sculptures. Why? Because by removing music, science was able to materialize its dream, i.e. to form a general theory on the Universe. It’s a kind of castration which has been continuing until our days.
PP: Therefore, since music is rational, then you must consider it an active factor in Creation.
V: Most definitely.
PP: Why is, then, only music a product of intellect and not painting as well?
V: It is not the same thing. Painting needs the man. Man creates a painting. Music does not need anyone. Music is a divine thing. It’s an enormous force that shapes the world.
PP: Is what we hear on Earth and call it “music” something objective or an incomplete reflection of a deeper and intangible truth which is simply perceived and “heard” in the way that is heard by us under the given circumstances of Earth?
V: Music is the sole force which can capture the truth because being an intellectual tool it operates absolutely deductively. Truth is always objective.
PP: If we focus on the concept of harmony, we understand that everything is music, and that music can capture the truth. However, it may be said that music depends on conditions. For example, there is no music in the void.
V: Actually, there is.
PP: But, we cannot hear any music in the void.
V: Music does not have to be heard. The laws are the same whether music is heard or not.
PP: How does music come to us?
V: It goes somewhat like this. Someone writes a musical piece. He may write it because he thought of it, which means that it is subjective, and it can be very nice. He may, however, not think of anything. Then, it is music itself that writes the piece. This means that music uses someone in order to be written.
PP: Which means that a composer’s talent is just to be available.
V: That is correct. That is why I always support that you always have to be ready.
PP: You need to find a way to be ready. What is your way? How do you manage to be available for music?
V: I do not know. I have always been.
PP: Don’t you have “keys” for inspiration?
V: I do not have inspiration.
PP: So, you are just available.
V: Yes. I have said it many times. I’m asked “What is the inspiration?” What Inspiration? There is no inspiration.
PP: Are you available in a self-evident way or are there periods that you are not?
V: I always am.
PP: Don’t you have fluctuations in your ability to be available?
V: No. I handle something for which I am not responsible. Of course, there are other ways too. Be aware, however! I never speak personally. I do not refer to the “I”. There is no “I” with awards and success. It is great irreverence to music to say “I”.
PP: Have you never said “I”?
V: No, I haven’t. I have never said “I” when it comes to music. Unless it’s a figure of speech. “I” does not exist. It is irreverent if it does. How can “I” exist when music exists?
PP: Did you wish to manage to have the result of a symphonic orchestra by yourself? To be at the same time the composer, the conductor and all of the musicians? Was that your plan?
V: Absolutely, yes. This is my life achievement. This is what I tried to do in order to have the complete work. I’m not saying the best work, just the work in its fullest form.
PP: Did this happen upon the conception that you have to head towards this direction since you started working on your own?
V: Exactly! This is also the reason I never attended a Music School, nor learnt musical notes. I did not want to.
PP: Perhaps you know music without having been taught.
V: Music is everywhere as long as you read it. Music is not to be taught; music is born. We swim in music.
PP: Is it wrong that music is taught?
V: No. It does not do any harm. If we teach it incorrectly though, it leads to mistakes. It depends on what someone wants to do. It is a positive thing if you want to learn a musical instrument. Regardless of that, what music schools do, is teaching a repertoire. This is not the point though. Someone may develop into an incredibly important performer with experience, wisdom, maturity, and significant contribution of his own.
PP: You have stated that your natural gift derives from a place called “memory”. You may have meant that you bear music, and that, by extension, each person bears all truths in a dormant state, and what you actually do with music is to awaken memory in people. You have also said in your 2011 Al Jazeera interview to Tony Harris that “what we need today more than anything else is to invest in beauty, because beauty is harmony which comes from chaos”. Therefore, how do you activate memory? How do you organize yourself in order to be able to act, in your own words, as “a bridge or channel through which music is displayed out of the chaos of noise”?
V: Whatever I have told you so far is not the only way in which I approach, act, and work with music. I have used all possible ways, and that is why I am in a position to talk about all these. The way I mentioned in this conversation is the scientific way which can produce objective results to the many human questions and needs we have regarding the significance, function and utilization of music. For me, the key in both a scientific and empirical sense is to respect and follow music. As for memory to which I have been referring for years, I do not mean our memory of last week’s events but the memory from the depths of time which we bear as humans and as parts of the Universe. In other words, I remember something because I am that something. Whether we like it or not, we all are the accumulation of a billion-year-long memory. This kind of plunge is worth taking. The Universe may be simple but it is also endless.
PP: The concept of struggle for the creation of harmony and order out of chaos and dissonance lies in the core of ancient Greek thought. It could be said that the ancient Greek intellectual creation comprises in its totality a system organizing chaos into order. It is a code; the fundamental code of civilization. The concept of struggle for harmony and transgression also seals your work, both regarding your famous pieces, as well as the lesser known ones. Would you say that this is the focal point of Rosetta, Mythodea or Blade Runner?
V: Instead of “struggle”, I would rather say “need”. I deeply feel that the Universe seeks the conversion of chaos into harmony. Whatever kind of harmony may be achieved, since chaos is always larger, there will be a period that will enable creation. It will be this period that whatever is to be created will be created. Besides, let us not forget that there is always the tendency of divergence, or the tendency to return to disorder; this is what we call entropy. In other words, whatever is beautiful, tends to turn into ugly, whatever is right tends to turn into wrong, and back to square one. It is my ancestors’ thought that lies in the core of this struggle and not the opposite.
PP: Shall I assume that there will always be creation because there will always be chaos catering for creation?
V: Generally speaking and without getting into any details, let us just say that there is an area where chaos rules, and, then, something happens and it is transformed into harmony.
PP: Apparently, it is intellect that enters and converts a piece of chaos into harmony.
V: What enters is the need for conversion of chaos into harmony. Harmony is the organic element which will make everything else operate, and, as I mentioned earlier, in some way, chaos desires to be converted into harmony.
PP: I had the impression that it was like entering into a room, thinking of something, and tidying up.
V: This is not how things are done in nature. Nature does not think. This is what happens with thought. Thoughts belong to the past. Thoughts always lie within the past, and since they lie within the past, they are not materialized in the present. Creation, on the other hand, takes place in the present.
PP: Does this mean that creation comes automatically and self-evidently to the present out of the void, out of nothing, without thinking?
V: It does. Please, pay attention so that you comprehend the reason why this happens. You cannot think of something without this already existing somewhere. Plato observed that in his Theory of Ideas. Consequently, thinking does not create this “something”. For example, a musical piece does not need the composer’s thought in order to exist in the world of forms. It constantly exists there, regardless of time and the composer. Therefore, the display of this composition in our reality of space and time does not also require thinking. If you think of a composition or, by extension, something else, then the thought of that form already exists in the past. It does not exist in the present and that is why it is unable or finds great difficulty in being displayed in the present. In order for “something” to be displayed in the present, you must not think of it, because if you do, it is immediately transferred into the past. In order to “bring” something to the present, you need to constantly remain in the present and to be available, so that creation is displayed through yourself. If you want something in the present, it is preferable not to intervene and let it be displayed freely.
PP: Is this how you work?
V: Indeed. This is the system through which I express myself and create music. I feel embarrassed, however, to use the verb “create”, just because, as I have already told you, music is already created. I do not mean to belittle the musicians and composers who do not work in such a way, but instead need to think, to write down and correct on a piece of paper. This does not mean that they were prevented from composing masterpieces. It is just that I did not and I still do not feel to do so.
PP: Why don’t you?
V: Because my goal is whatever happens to come out and be expressed pure and within the minimum time in-between the so-called “inspiration” and its performance, and without my personal intervention. Music that is not filtered through consciousness and thought is purer. This is the most important achievement for me, because we have a result without any intervention as much as this is feasible.
PP: It could be said that you are describing a secret of creation.
V: It is, indeed, because we are retracting the man, or, more specifically, the thought. Man is used as the executive body by something and for something that did not exist five minutes ago, but, at the same time, it has always existed. Everything exists somewhere. Consider that there is an enormous storage area in the Universe you can draw from and constantly try. This area exists for all beings, not just for me. It all depends, of course, on what you are going to draw from it. What I do is to minimise as much as possible that very dangerous moment, the distance between the so-called “inspiration”, the stimulus, and the moment that this will be imprinted on the world. “Why all these?” you would ask. So that I succeed in approaching the most objective outcome of music, i.e. the code and the information. Shall I give you yet another example? Between the power source and the light bulb there is a wire. The wire does not think; it only transfers.
PP: So that I get things straight, and, by all means, correct me if I am mistaken, can you, by constantly being available, conceive a piece of symphonic music and immediately perform it with your electronic instruments, i.e. the synthesisers complex installed in your studio, as if you have every single musician of a symphonic orchestra, and conduct as if a symphonic orchestra is present in your own studio always being ready and available?
V: Exactly! This is what I do every single day. This is how Rosetta came up.
PP: I recalled a scene from the 2008 documentary Journey to Ithaka, which presents moments from your long journey in music. So, we witness you in your Paris studio in 1992, talking with Ridley Scott about the film 1492. You are watching some clips from the first director’s cut of the film, and, at the same time, while watching the clips, you are playing on the synthesizer for some time. Then, you stop, you get up, and tell Riddley Scott, “Okay! We’ll see how we are going to write it.” His response is, “But, you have already written it!”
V: And, then, we burst into laughter! I have, indeed, many stories of this kind to tell you. This is how I write music. It is something very simple. Of course, for other people it is not simple at all. Nevertheless, I do insist. If you want to travel from Athens to London, we have to go from Athens to London, and not via Australia.
PP: Have you ever taught music?
V: I cannot teach. What I am interested in, is to be absent as much as possible, and let music come first, to be expressed and manifested. Wishing to steal the spotlight from a force that radiates much more than us is quite vain and ridiculous.
PP: Don’t you ever use the expression, “my music”?
V: I rarely do. I do not like the word “my” at all! It is irreverence. I may say “my music” just as someone would say “I took this suitcase and brought it over here”. Just like this. Of course, I will say “my music” when someone else tells me, “No, it is I who brought this suitcase!”.
PP: It is understandable that there is a limit.
V: You do understand what I’m trying to say. Since I was little, I haven’t been dealing with music based on the principles of society, which, unfortunately, are totally different from those of the Universe.
PP: It is a wish come true, of course, that your parents did not obstruct you.
V: Of course, it is, but, on the other hand, they didn’t have much of a choice really.
PP: Was that because you were persistent?
V: Not just because I was persistent, but also due to my age. What can you tell a toddler at the age of 3-4 that is constantly composing at his mother’s piano? Will you tell him to do something else?
PP: You may do so, because you may be worried that he won’t be able to cope with life.
V: That is true. Once, you had to be a doctor or a lawyer or an architect. There is the social aspect, but that wasn’t my case. My parents were extremely good but there was no room for them to think that I had to do something else.
PP: Your talent must have been apparent.
V: I will put it simply. I do not know anything else to do. I cannot live differently.
PP: It is known that you live through music on a daily basis; you are in the studio every single day.
V: I may be in my studio every day but I live through music even when I’m not there. I’m not a geek sitting inside the studio while being cut off from everybody. Nevertheless, where would I find greater blissfulness than that of the cosmos of sounds?
PP: You have said that you are not alone in music.
V: Indeed. Can you be alone in music?
PP: Someone would say that it is feasible.
V: That person probably sets off from a different starting point. My starting point is, the perception of music without musical studies gave me the most valuable thing, called freedom.
PP: Is freedom the most valuable thing?
V: Of course. Freedom is to be able to act otherwise too, something that Aristotle said few thousands years ago. What is freedom? The ability to act otherwise too.
PP: Not to act otherwise, however, because you have chosen what you do.
V: Exactly. Without causing, of course any harm to others. When you are free, however, you do not need to cause any harm. Evil arises from our misconduct to others, to nature and to ourselves. This is also where money is acquired too.
PP: Money, however, can also be earned with Good.
V: When you are in a world of positive music, you feel healthy. Even distress is healthy. Being in the world of music is like internal cleansing and at the same time, a protective shield of our soul.
PP: To what degree do you think there is harmony in modern Greece? Why do the political and social life entail and reproduce so much chaos and so much noise?
V: Once, this place called Greece was the epitomy of arts, science and philosophy. Nowadays, all this knowledge, which still is being taught in schools and Universities all over the world, has been surgically extracted through the years of our books and consciousness. And now, that everyone is looking with supposedly great interest for the medicine that will overthrow this situation, there is objectively only one solution, i.e. Paideia, the Greek classic education, which has been under virulent attack willingly and from ignorance for 1,700 years. Paideia, which is the main body of education all over the world, is not taught in Greece. I believe that the destruction of Greek spirit and knowledge can have a rather negative impact worldwide.
PP: In what terms?
V: Greece shouldn’t have reached this point. Greece used to be the source of positive things and is now in a chaotic position.
PP: It wasn’t apparent, however, that this was going to happen. When the Mythodea concert took place in 2001 at the Olympieion in Athens, Greece was in the rise and at her prime, heading towards the Olympic Games.
V: The Olympic Games were a very expensive and temporary veneer. Destruction had already started long time ago.
PP: Had you already realized it back then?
V: Not just then. I had been talking about it for forty years and I was responded to in a taunting manner. You don’t have to be smart, but, if you give yourself the opportunity to think, you will see things. I’m talking in terms of well being and acting, not necessarily financially. My relationship with Greece is of substance. Although I have lived abroad for many decades, it is difficult to leave your country. I considered it a compulsory emigration.
PP: Let us hope that the progression of decadence shall be interrupted.
V: I hope so. I’m not sure, however, when Greece will be the “happening” that has always been. The state in which the Greeks created things and went beyond borders too. I don’t know when this will happen. The intellectual goods that Greece gave to humankind are not over yet. That is because my ancestors always set nature as the measurement unit. It was not such big deal. This is how they discovered the unalterable objective truths.
PP: I realised that when, recently, I took a lone stroll around the archaeological sites, from the Plato Academy up to the Parthenon and the Aristotle Lyceum.
V: I am glad that you are mentioning that because this is a path I have frequently taken in Athens. I must confess though, that I can feel a parallelism nowadays i.e. ruins and beauty of the ancient world, correspond to the spiritual collapse of Modern Greece.
PP: Nevertheless, the country moves forward through its exceptions.
V: Maybe it does, but is also in need of something additional and fundamental in order to succeed keeping the sense of right and objectivity; in other words, its own Paideia, the classic Greek Paideia.
PP: Thank you for this interview, Vangelis.
V: Thank you too.
*Vangelis’ album Rosetta was released on 23rd September 2016 by Decca Records.
Interview by Pavlos Papadopoulos. Published in VIMAgazino, September 25, 2016