My name is Giorgos Tabakis and I am a guitarist from Athens Greece. I enjoy composing and recording music for solo guitar and for small or larger groups. I have collaborated with many artists (dancers, directors, film makers, photographers, painters) in various projects and I am grateful for all these artistic experiences, which lead to the release of 8 albums in the last 6 years.
My 2020 album Dual Nature for duo with the German clarinetist Rebecca Trescher won the Global Music Awards Silver Medal 2020, it was on the best jazz on Bandcamp list (June 2020) and it was very well received by journalists and media!
My new work ‘hEre nOw theN’ for solo 8 string guitar was released on October 18, 2021 and I am very happy and proud for the outcome and for the feedback I’m getting from a lot of people! If you wish to check more stuff for me and my work, here are some links:
Where did you come from and where are you going?
I come from a small town called Nafpaktos in central Greece and for the past 13 years or so, I’ve lived in Athens. When I was young I didn’t know of my musical future and I was dreaming about being an astronaut, a footballer, a fireman and many other things that children usually dream of. I had an early passion (or pathos in Greek) for the guitar and I started to play at the age of nine. I didn’t study much but I was playing a lot of songs and melodies I liked at the time. Guitar became a personal inner friend and eventually an extension of myself through the years.
From that time to the present, a lot of things have changed. Especially with music, the continuing work, study, practice, goals etc are easily burying the innocence and sensitivity that lead me to the guitar and music in the first place. I am currently in a state of revisiting and remembering my childhood emotions and motivation, trying to embrace as many of it’s aspects as I possibly can! In a sense, my work ‘hEre nOw theN’ has to do everything with that because the guitar and music in general for me – both my younger and older self – has to do with the freedom of emotion, the freedom to feel the world around me in a completely personal view and outside of boundaries and labels.
So, this is where I’m going – or returning to!
What preoccupies your mind these days?
I’m thinking a lot of the current situation globally and I am wondering what the next day will be like. Are we going to return to our “normal” life like nothing happened? Will something different emerge as a new view of our present and future? Will democratic rights, freedom of speech and expression be the same as before? better than before? worse than before? What does art and music stand for in a situation like this and is it really vital to our society? I’m sure that it is, but how is relevant to everyone’s daily life including my own, and in what way? These are some of the things that my mind struggles with often, not to get a clear answer but more as a source of inspiration and a personal reminder.
On another matter, I am obsessed with any news about advanced physics, space exploration, studies about A.I., distant galaxies, stars, blacks holes and everything in between! I read daily about all the breakthroughs of science in all directions! I’ve been enjoying that very much for years, ever since I was a child actually. The first time I heard in school that the universe is infinite – whatever that means – I was blown away!!!! I remember going to bed and thinking over and over about these matters! I don’t have any scientific background, I just need to be constantly informed about the path of mankind to the unknown through science! This preoccupies my mind also very often! I could say it’s my hobby, perhaps my only hobby!
Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell
A cold beer in the summer, my wife’s hand while taking a walk, the sound of burning wood in our fireplace in the winter, the sky after the rain, the smell of the tobacco I used to smoke!
Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares
The truth is that I don’t remember many of my dreams… But I can tell you that a nightmare of mine is that perhaps some day I will not be able to compose any more… Brrrrrr…. Freakish!!!!
Have you ever had an uncanny experience?
I have a great memory of a solo concert in the Anglican church of Athens. At one point I felt that I was not longer the one who was playing! I felt that I was pulled off of my body and went a little back and above the person who – at the time and beyond – was performing with the guitar. I didn’t have any control over the guitarist (who was at the same time me and not me) and I was just looking my body from different angles and aspects while listening to the music that was produced second by second, as I was just a listener or an audience participant.
A part of me was continuously surprised by this ongoing experience and had a feeling of uncertainty due to the lack of control, even a slight emotion of stress or fear about where this situation might lead to. It was quickly balanced by another part of me that was feeling secure and confident, as this state wasn’t an alien state for me. It had happened before, not on this level, but it wasn’t the first time. It lasted for several seconds, for a whole improvised part. I wouldn’t consider it as an unsettling experience – it had that tendency in the first seconds but soon the “secure feeling” prevailed. Fortunately, it was live recorded and it’s on my new ‘hEre nOw theN’ album, in the 9th track called ‘Transition’, after the middle part, just before you listen to the “percussion” type of effects and lasted to the end of it.
How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?
Excellent question, I’m not sure how can I answer it in a logical way… I have experienced multiple times several “feelings” and “sensations” in places I visit for the first time. I don’t have any images or sights for that place, so my senses are making contact with a completely unknown space. They work nonstop trying to – short of – mapping the place, the people in it, the “vibe of the walls” as I say, even things like the temperature and all kinds of information in order to have a more specific view.
This affects the way I feel dramatically. In some places (concert venues, bars, music scenes) I have felt loosed, relaxed and with a great joy for people and life but in others I have felt miserable, uncomfortable and I can’t wait to get out of there. All of the above effects a great deal the way I express myself, the way I feel, the way I talk and engaging/dealing with people, the way I perform. It’s incredible how all that affects also the body in so many ways. Through the years I learned to trust these senses because they can view something that my logical side cannot.
What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?
Unfortunately, recently we had some big disasters here in Greece … Great fires at late summer and floods in early Autumn, just a few days ago. Very difficult for everyone… I saw a post by a reporter on Facebook with two photos and a comment. In the photos, the common thing in both situations was that a lot of people were trying to help each other. In both photos they were holding hands, creating a unique image like in a bizarre dance or something (in Greece it’s a common thing that many people dance holding hands)… and the comment said “Burning or drowning, together we stand.” Strange, amazing images! “Heavy,” dark and at the same time sensitive, powerful, inspiring!
Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke
Two guitarists meet in a cafe and one says: “I bought your last CD, it was great!!!” And the other replies: “Oh, so that was you!”