© Mariza Kapsabeli
Points of view

Theodore: when the music wins and still thrills

25.01.2019 | By PAOLO BOCCHI

“Thousands of music tracks pour into our ears every day. We listen to them absentmindedly and tend to forget them quickly. But not Theodore’s music. Which gets right where it should. Thrilling. And staying.”

Listening to a new artist and feeling touched at first sound is a pretty rare experience nowadays. It may be because – in the words of our Battiato – every day we get “swamped with music garbage.” Or it could be that, simply, today’s music supply has grown so wide that the demand can no longer listen to it properly.
Yes, stumbling into an artist that gives you genuine music thrills has become less and less common, indeed.

But, luckily, it’s still possible.
And that’s what happened to me with Theodore.
Namely, with his Towards (for what is it to come).
A brainwave. A split second.
And all of the critic architectures and pre-set dogmas in my brain’s music memory, built over decades of listening to all that played from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk, from Keith Jarrett to Francesco Tristano, Rino Gaetano to Baustelle, King Crimson to The Winstons, Billie Holiday to Amy Winehouse, the Bee Gees to Clapton… they all collapsed miserably, replaced by some kind of miracle: the moment when the music wins over everything, pervading the listener’s mind, heart and body.
It’s music’s magic. Something unique and otherworldly.
Just like my first Theodore gig: magic.

It was an Autumn night on a Greek island called Syros, in the main square of Hermoupolis, the capitol of the Cyclades. Behind us, the sea. A fresh breeze. A band, ready to play: members in position, lights on them. On the massive stairway to the City Hall.
A few piano notes. Two drumsticks hitting the snare. Then the voice.
The beginning of a journey. A great journey. A flight. High-altitude.

I closed my eyes and let myself go. Found myself moving through spaces in and out of myself.
It sounded like the best Coldplay had merged with the most experimental Pink Floyd.
It looked like a Nick Cave in his most histrionic performance was sharing the stage with a John Grant in tip-top shape.
On and off, the deep voice – and not only that – of Anthony and the Johnsons resonated over the stage, there, on that very night, in Greece; a stage that appeared like kissed by the ancient Gods, who definitely still dwell there.
Ancient and Modern Greece met: in the music, in the air, at sea.
Theodore, who are you?
Theódoros, from the Greek Theós, God, and Dōron, Gift: God’s gift.

Multi-instrument musician, Athens-based, Theodore learned piano and Greek traditional music as a child. After moving to London in 2011, he started studying Composing. A journey that led him to the release of his debut album, It Is But It’s Not, mixed by Mr Ken Thomas, someone who worked with names like Moby and Sigur Ros. For the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, Theodore has opened gigs, too, like the one at the Release Festival in Athens.

By passing the 2 million views on You Tube, Theodore earned his second opportunity: a second LP, released in November 2018 with the title Inner Dynamics, featuring the singles Towards (gorgeous), Disorientation (no title could fit this song more) and Spit Blood Out (rock’n’roll-stop&go), that impressed even the most refined palates among music critics. About his latest work, Theodore said “I was trying to express my urge to connect the conscious and subconscious part of myself so I can be creative. It’s an understanding that humans are not just one thing, and they shouldn’t try to hide certain elements of their personality because society likes to put labels on who we are. It’s the different sides of myself that make who I am”.

Inner Dynamics is an album that sounds personal at 360° and never gets old; on the contrary, it keeps surprising the listener, play after play. It alternates moments of pure enchantment, like those when Theodore sits at the piano – see For a While – and bits of true emotional ecstasy, like in the final song of the album, Fluttering; a “life soundtrack” that makes you want to press “play” again and again and again…
Yes, getting first sound thrills is something more and more rare today, as we were saying.
But, when it happens… it feels just great.