Agora Europe

After having performed at Nuits sonores in May, and Reworks festival last month, the artist, whose next album Blind Heaven will be released on 7K!Label on the 08 November, sat down with us to answer our 10 questions.

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A former producer for a jazz radio as well as editor for several music magazines, Hior was born in Athens in 1974. His ambient and electronica music has been scored in several films, documentaries and art performances. With already four solo albums and collaborations with artists such as Masayoshi Fujita, Akira Kosemura or Sophie Hutchings, Hior who has also played the piano in Christian Loffler’s Ensemble, is part of the 2019 64 Faces of We are Europe.

As an artist, what does Europe mean to you?

When it comes to cultural and historical identity, Europe is the most inspiring thing! And way beyond music. The European Union invests and supports artists, increasing their reputation and making citizens understand how important culture and arts are.

As a Greek citizen, what is your perception of Europe?

As I am now living in Berlin for a few years, I do not consider myself as a Greek citizen anymore. But the city I live in doesn’t matter – as I remain in Europe – and my perception of Europe would be the same wherever I live. The way the European Union treated Greece has been politically inhuman. It has resulted in a bigger catastrophe than before the crisis. Greece is now facing a huge economic hole and the European Union has to be held responsible.

So my opinion as a “Greek citizen” about Europe is not so positive or hopeful. Things in Greece would be different and much better without Europe’s role.

Can you share one of your best memory in Europe as an artist? 

There are so many nice memories… It is hard to pick and share one only. I will never forget when I presented my album Out of the Dust in Leuven, Belgium. I performed with my mates Hania Rani and Christian Grothe. I remember the venue as one of the most beautiful theatre and the response from the audience has been amazing.

Do you believe in a European identity?

I believe in European identity when it comes to culture. But most generally, I believe in a human identity without any distinction regarding its origins.

How would you describe and rate the Greek music scene?

I can only speak about the music scene that is close to the music I produce or the music I’m interested in listening, that I can summarise in: electronic music and neoclassical. According to my view, the scene is really poor. A lot of people are trying to make music, which is great! But their music is not my piece of cake. There are still a few artists that worth it and need to be listened: Mikael Delta, Novi Sad, Manos Manolakis, Tendts or Subheim.

How would you describe your music? 

My musical base is ambient, influenced by classical music and I have two distinct projects: with Hior Chronik I produce ambient and drone-based piano music when I play electronic music with Hior.

Before becoming a professional musician, you were a journalist. Does this influence the way you create music?

Not at all. Journalism is something completely different. To be honest, the main reason that made me quit writing was that I considered the critic on someone’s else music unfair and unethical. But as a journalist, I have listened to a lot of music and attended so many live shows. This made me get experience and knowledge in music in general.

Hior at Reworks Festival 2019 © Alexandros Oikonomidis

This year you have performed at Nuits sonores Festival in Lyon and at Reworks Festival in Thessaloniki – two festivals part from the We are Europe cooperation. What does it mean to you to be in a such European network? Professionally and ideologically ?

To be able to share my music through this project means a lot to me. It helps artists to reach their audience. It is for sure an honour and I am really happy about it. It is quite hard when you are a newcomer to perform in Europe. But projects such as We are Europe give opportunities to artists, recognition and a fair treatment.

What’s your view on the political or social tasks of artists today?

I see many artists not being interested in political movements or social issues. Even if I am not super positive because I understand how easy it is to see only the bad side of politics, I would love to see more artists movements in the future. It would be great to demonstrate more and to not play music only during fun situations, as an entertainment.

A final word?

Europe must give support to the refugees and must stop supporting capitalism against humans and climate. Europe is everyone’s home. Culture in Europe is a way to educate people, so let there be space for others (ed. newcomers) too.

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