Back to Time (Complete EMI Years) is a compilation album by Greek singer Anna Vissi, including the whole recordings which are now back catalogue items of Minos EMI. It is part of Minos EMI's special edition "EMI Years" compilations of early recordings by artists which were either signed to them directly or of releases which have since become part of their back catalogue.
Once we are aware that certain music has been written for film, it’s easy to wax poetic about said music’s visual associations. Yet I believe that one needn’t be aware of Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou’s filmic motivations in order to feel it in the same way, for hers imagines, recites, and sings the lament of a zeitgeist in decay. Karaindrou’s themes are potent yet familiar, even (if not especially) to those who’ve never heard them before. Brimming with tragedy and triumph alike, this is music not only for the fictional, but also for real strangers crossing paths in a world of mist and shadows.
Eleni Karaindrou – “Greece’s most eloquent living composer” in the words of Time magazine – was born in Teichio, a mountain village in central Greece. She still retains vivid memories of the sound world of her childhood: "the music of the wind, rain on the slate roof, running water. The nightingale's singing. And then the silence of the snow." Sometimes the mountains would echo to the sound of flutes and clarinets played at village festivals. “I still have a strong memory of the Byzantine melodies I heard in church and the continuous voices of the men accompanying the chanter," she has said. Resonances of this sound world, imbued with the history and suffering of her native land, have found their way into the many scores she has composed for film, TV and theatre in the past four decades.
Released in 1994 and curated by Joe Boyd, the 16-track collection Way to Blue held true to its claim as An Introduction to Nick Drake. Though largely unknown during his lifetime and brief career, the beguiling English folksinger ascended to a kind of romantic cult hero in the two decades following his 1974 death. His name was known among artists and hardcore record collectors and thanks to Boyd's Hannibal Records label, his three lone albums along with the essential 1986 rarities disc Time of No Reply were all back in print. Artists like R.E.M., the Cure, and the Dream Academy had all cited him as an influence in the mid-'80s, but it really wasn't until the '90s that his gentle, austere music began to achieve the legendary status that it would enjoy well into the 21st century. A handful of other Nick Drake compilations had existed before this one, but Way to Blue remains the definitive primer for aspiring and casual fans.
Energy of Vibratory Motion. Bands of tin are wrapped around the tongue keys of a thumb piano, a metal rattle is inserted info the end of a string instrument, a gut cord is strung across the skin of a drum: from pre-history to today musican-healers have used these and other methods to complexify the sound of their instruments in order to create a parallel "shadow line" of sound. These rhythm overtones are sometimes called "the voice of the ancestors" and are linked to the transcendent quality of the music.
Claudine Francois is a beautiful pianist, and we love her work on other records – but she sounds especially great here in the company of bassist Hubert Dupont and drummer Hamid Drake – both players who bring a heck of a lot of texture to the session! Dupont's bass is wonderful – often more melodic than rhythm, at a level that's also echoed by Drake's always-creative work on the drum kit – providing these shifting shapes, like different platforms in sound – from which Francois' piano lines take off boldly.