Tracks 1 and 2 were recorded and edited at Polytropon Studio in Thessaloniki by Thanos Kazantzis (track 1: March 2012, track 2: May 2014).
Track 3 was recorded and edited at the Lab of Electroacoustics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki by Kostas Kontos (May 2007).
Track 4 was recorded live (4 December 2006) at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall by Kostas Kontos.
Track 5 was recorded and edited at the Music Technology Lab of the School of Music Studies of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki by Kostas Kontos (February 2021)
Track 6 was recorded live (6 April 2009) at the Athens Concert Hall by Themis Zafeiropoulos.
Track 7 was recorded and edited by Manolis Manousakis at the “Figure of Sound” studio in Athens (October 2012).
All the tracks are world premiere recordings.
The CD cover artwork is an original digital painting by George Manolas.
Photo of Costas Tsougras was shot by Yannis Michaelides.
The texts for the booklet were written by Costas Tsougras.
CD Mastering by Kostas Kontos (March-May 2021)
Graphic design by Michail Travlos
premiere: April 1, 2022.
The seven works included in MONOGRAMS album collection comprise a musical portrait of the Greek composer Costas Tsougras (b. 1966). The program features diverse solo or ensemble instrumental combinations (solo bayan accordion, string quartet, clarinet-piano duo, octet, solo piano, solo bassoon) and the dominant element of its design is the common pitch center (C) of the five last pieces (tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Although the works have been composed independently, as most of them were either friendly commissions by their performers or professional commissions by contemporary music institutions, they can be auditioned and experienced as a tripartite symmetrical multi-movement work, with Cantus Firmus and String Quartet nr. 1 functioning as the introductory movement (centered around E, with Cantus Firmus “modulating” from E to A and String Quartet returning to E), the Four Pieces–Octet–Six miniatures as the central/main movement (centered around C) and with String Quartet nr. 2 and Partita (also centered around C) as the concluding movement. All pieces share motivic, harmonic and structural elements, while certain melodic fragments are common to some of them. The most characteristic shared element is a hexachordal monogram produced by the correlation of selected letters from the composer’s name to musical pitches and is used as the harmonic source of core tracks 3, 4 and 5. The pieces also share a tendency towards cyclic forms, with numeric proportions frequently determining the duration of pitches and/or sections of the morphological design, and with dramatic juxtapositions between sections with mechanical rhythmic activity and sections with lyrical melodies or between extreme violent climaxes and meditative drones. Nevertheless, the seven works differ substantially in their character and expressive content and retain their individuality. (© Costas Tsougras)