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Welcome to the official website of the documentary film

ANAPARASTASIS: LIFE AND WORK
OF JANI CHRISTOU (1926-1970)
[2012]
by Costis Zouliatis

Please visit again for news and scheduled events

Navigate to other sections of this website for information about the film, the composer and his work.

This website is created by Panagiotis Thermogiannis aka Bananiotis (1978-2015) and is dedicated to his memory.


SCREENING IN HORTO IN AUGUST
Our film will be screened among the events of Horto Seminars, that are held in Horto (Pelion, GR) by the Non-Profit Foundation Angelinis-Hadjinikou for over 30 years. The screening will take place during August, in the memory of the great maestro and musician George Hadjinikos (1923-2015), soul and spirit of those music summers in Horto.


SCHEDULED SCREENINGS

17.08.2016
HORTO SEMINARS
In the memory of George Hadjinikos (1923-2015)
HORTO, PELION [GR] 



PAST SCREENINGS

26.02.2016
2-DAYS TRIBUTE TO JANI CHRISTOU
CHIOS [GR] @Homerion Cultural Centre

03-04.01.2016
JANI CHRISTOU: EPICYCLES
NICOSIA [CY] @European University [Cultural Centre]

31.05.2015
PETROUPOLIS CINE CLUB
Tribute to Greek Documentaries
PETROUPOLIS [GR] @Cine Petroupolis

18.05.2015
SPITI COCKTAIL BAR
CHALANDRI [GR] @Spiti Bar

08.05.2015
ANCIENT DRAMA ACT
1st INTERNATIONAL PROSCENIUM FOR STUDENTS & YOUTH

ANCIENT OLYMPIA [GR] @Gym

08.01-04.02.2015 (daily)
05-26.05.2015 (every Tuesday)

CINE TRIANON
ATHENS [GR] @Trianon


21.03.2015
CARAVAN PROJECT | DOCFEST
HERAKLION [GR] @Yurt, Georgiadis' Park

 
04.01.2015
TRIBUTE TO JANI CHRISTOU
KALAMATA MUNICIPAL CONSERVATORY
KALAMATA [GR] @DIPETHE Kalamatas

 
31.03&02.04.2014
MUSIC OF CHOICE & MUSIC OF CHANCE
GHENT [BE] @Royal Conservatory HoGent


02.03.2014
FASMA FESTIVAL
ATHENS [GR] @Guadelupe


09.02.2014
TRIPLE BATH FESTIVAL
ATHENS [GR] @Anamesa

  
12.12.2013
GREEK DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Greek Documentary Association | Greek Film Centre
ATHENS [GR] @Ianos

17.11.2013
JANI CHRISTOU CONFERENCE
LONDON [UK] @Goldsmiths University


03.07.2013
ANCIENT DRAMA SCHOOL
ELEUSIS [GR] @Old Oil Mill


09.04.2013
POFPA CINE CLUB
ATHENS [GR] @Irida


07.04.2013
ILΙOUPOLIS CINE CLUB
ATHENS [GR] @Screening Room

  
03.02.2013
WHERE ARE WE NOW | 01-10.02.2013
ATHENS [GR] @Embros Theatre


20.10.2012
MEGARON ATHENS CONCERT HALL
ATHENS [GR] @Nikos Skalkottas Venue


03-04.10.2012
TONLAGEN FESTIVAL 2012 | 01-13.10.2012
[PORTRAIT JANI CHRISTOU]
DRESDEN [DE] @Hellerau

 
26.09.2012
18th ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
OPENING NIGHTS | 19-30.09.2012
ATHENS [GR] @Danaos


25.08.2012 [GREEK PREMIERE]
CITRUS 2012 SUMMER FESTIVAL | 30.06-07.09.2012
CHIOS [GR] @Citrus

 
10.08.2012
REIHEM MUSIK-FILMPROGRAMM
COLOGNE [DE] @Museum Ludwig


13.04.2012 [WORLD PREMIERE]
II.BERLINER MUSIK FILM MARATHON | 10-24.04.2012
BERLIN [DE] @Martin Gropius Bau

Even though today he remains a great stranger, Jani Christou (1926-1970) stands among the greatest figures of the 20th century music avant-garde. His work is characterized by a rare uniformity and consistency, regarding not only the pioneering means which he introduced in the world of sounds and the innovatory music systems, but also his own philosophical universe which runs through and inspires his compositions: the myth, the transcendent, the mysticism, the primordial, the ritual, the unapproachable, the panic, the hysteria… Furthermore, every single Christou work resembles a desperate call to primitive human instincts and finally delivers a wide range of emotional standards, forcing all communicants of his art to severe and even extreme reactions considering the energy impact the performances of his works often have on audiences around the world. With Christou’s early death in a tragic accident, on his birthday, in January 8th 1970, the world of contemporary music lost one of the most thrilling and provocative talents.
The documentary attempts to illustrate the personality and the spirit of this great thinker of art and follow the path of his short life, which has always been interwoven with art and his meaning of offering to humanity and civilization. Through the presentation of composer’s works and rare audiovisual documents, as well as interviews with all the creative and friendly circle in which Christou was linked, the film toils to bring us closer to the mystery that this great artist left behind and, at a second reading, sets the concern for all the great moments of art that sometimes historical and era circumstances hide in their shadows.
The film gathers and links all references, images and audiovisual documents that have occurred through continuous research within Christou Archive, along with new footage, interviews, archival TV footage and archives of theatrical organizations which Christou had worked for. The film is specifically consisted of: the rare short film by Mimis Kougioumtzis shot in rehearsals of Theatre Arts (1965-1968), the only colored film document: a 10-minute super 8 mm reel with family moments while Christou’s stay in Alexandria (not shown ever before), excerpts from performances in Greece and abroad, brief TV tributes, rare audio documents from historical concerts, a wide variety of Christou photos (mostly not shown or published previously; from composer’s personal archive) and interviews of persons associated with Christou as either friends or collaborators.

The film features interviews of (in alphabetical order):
Theodore Antoniou, composer, conductor
Nicos Despotides, sound engineer
Stella Gadedi, flutist
Doris Huber, performer
Rupert Huber, composer, conductor
Karolos Koun, director, soul of Art Theatre
Miltos Logiades, conductor
Nikos Mamangakis, composer
Andreas Rodoussakis, double-bassist
Spyros Sakkas, baritone
Gregory Semitecolo, painter, performer
Nelly Semitecolo, pianist
Yiannis Sigletos, sound engineer
Filippos Tsalachouris, composer, pedagogist
Dora Tsatsou-Simeonidou, choreographer
Stefanos Vassiliades, composer, pedagogist
(passed away in 2004, some months after our meetings)
Haris Xanthoudakis, composer, musicologist
and
Jani Christou

 

 

Jani Christou was born at Heliopolis, N.E. of Cairo, Egypt, on January 8th, 1926, of Greek parents. He was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria and began composing at an early age. According to the myth, during mid 40’s, he travelled to England to study first Economics and then Philosophy at King's College, Cambridge, attending the lectures by Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell. At the same time in nearby Letchworth, he studied music and counterpoint privately with Hans Ferdinand Redlich, the distinguished musicologist and pupil of Alban Berg, and in 1949 travelled to Rome to study film music orchestration with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, best known for composing film scores. He also attended summer courses for music composition in Accademia Chigiana in Siena and in Gavi. Christou travelled widely in Europe, culminating for a short period in Zurich, where as a listener attended lectures in psychology with Carl Jung; encouraged by his brother Evis (himself a pupil of Jung) whom Christou considered his spiritual mentor. In the early 50’s, he had already returned to Alexandria and in 1956 he married Theresia (Sia) Choreme, a remarkable young painter from Chios, who supported and assisted Christou in all his artistic and creative aspirations. It was the same year that Jani lost his only brother Evis, in a car accident; a fact that deeply affected him in his work in the years that followed. By that time, in Alexandria, he organized his private recording studio and devoted to composition.
 

By 1953, he had already composed his first extended symphonic works: Phoenix Music, Symphony No.1, Latin Mass. By 1956 he had completed the Six T.S. Eliot Songs. In 1960, Christou settled permanently in Greece dividing his time between Chios and Athens. He had already completed the works Symphony No.2 and Patterns and Permutations. He composed music for greek ancient drama for the Greek State Theatre and the Art Theatre of Karolos Koun (Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound, Frogs, Persians, Oedipus Rex). The works Toccata for pianoforte and orchestra, the oratorios Tongues of Fire and Mysterion followed. He moved to Athens due to the increasing artistic events to which he had to participate. His later period of composition followed: Praxis for 12, The Strychnine Lady, Epicycle, Enandiodromia, Anaparastasis -an ensemble of various multi-artistic rituals, only two of which are completed: Anaparastasis I aka The Baritone and Anaparastasis III aka The Pianist. From 1967 he had been hectically working on an ambitious plan: a large scale contemporary opera based on the ancient trilogy of Oresteia by Aeschylus, which he never introduced. At the dawn of January 8th 1970, while returning from a tavern where he had taken his friends to celebrate his name day, Jani Christou was killed in a car accident. The next day was his birthday. He was only 44 years old and one of the leading composers of his generation.
 

As the composer and musicologist Michael Stewart witnesses, with Christou’s death “the contemporary music world lost one of its most exciting and provocative talents. […] He was regarded by many as one of the leading composers of his generation. He was controversial, highly talented, and greatly admired both in his own country and abroad. And yet although his name remains respected in contemporary music circles to this day, performances of his music are extremely rare. At the time of Christou's death, his music was being heard at some of the most prestigious international music festivals in the world, and he was also preparing to unveil the most ambitious project of his career. […] Christou's untimely death left many projects incomplete, including the Oresteia, which would have received its world premiere at the English Bach Festival in London in April 1970, with further performances scheduled for France, Japan, America and Scandinavia.
 
[…] Christou would work long hours at a stretch, but when not actually physically engaged in the act of composing, would spend a great deal of time studying in his vast library of books and absorbing subjects from philosophy, anthropology, psychology, theology and comparative religions, history and pre-history through to occultism and art. Christou was as much a philosopher and metaphysician as he was a composer, and it is important to understand that all of his music sprang from his philosophical studies and theories. This is particularly so in the music covering the last ten years of his life, where his compositional techniques are at times transmuted beyond conventional music”.
(extract from Michael Stewart’s biographical liner notes in the 4-volume release of Christou’s historical recordings, Sirius 2001)

 

 

Costis Zouliatis was born in 1979 in Athens and up to now he has kept himself busy only with music and images. He studied Music in Ionian University (Corfu), where he is also a Ph.D. Candidate (under the subject of the composer Jani Christou’s life and philosophical thought). He is founding member of several musical bands (Night On Earth, Paracroussis a.o.) for which he composes music and participates as a musician and improviser, while as Costinho he also gives solo performances with piano and electronics. He has composed music for theatrical plays, short films, and documentaries, and he contributes in theatrical performances as a pianist and improviser.  He has directed and produced short video films and music videos, included a short portrait of contemporary Greek composer Dimitris Dragatakis. His study in cinematography concerns the work and teachings of Ed Wood, Andrei Tarkovsky and Caravaggio, and a staggering masterclass of cinematographer Christopher Doyle as well. As a researcher, he worked for many years on the work and life of composer Jani Christou. He has also signed the following published essays: A musicological approach to John Coltrane’s 'A Love Supreme' and its importance as an expression of spiritual passion (2000), Politics and music in the works of Luigi Nono (2003), Symbolism in Alban Berg’s music (2004), Jani Christou – T.S.Eliot - Peter du Sautoy: Seven letters for Six songs (2010), Jani Christou: Alchemist of Dreams (2010).

 

FILMOGRAPHY

Arrivals [14’ min., 2004]
The Sea Outside [3’, 2005]
Dimitris Dragatakis: Portrait Pieces [40’ min., 2008]
Anaparastasis: Life and Work of Jani Christou (1926-1970) [97’ min., 2012]



LINKS

website
facebook
soundcloud
bandcamp
youtube

 

 

 

97 minutes, color, HD [DCP]
 
Research – Text – Directing Costis Zouliatis
Camera Kleitos Kyriakides, Nikos Nikolopoulos
Costis Zouliatis, Ivan Vountides

Editing Kleitos Kyriakides
Sound Dimitris Miyakis
Director/Production Assistant Christine Fine
 
Production
Costis Zouliatis
G.A.L.P. Pictures

 
Under the auspices of
Music Department of Ionian University
 
and the support of
Greek Film Centre
 
 
Image Processing 2|35 two thirty five
Online – DCP Mastering Sakis Bouzanis
Color Grading Manos Chamilakis

 

 

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RELATED LINKS

www.janichristou.com
A tribute website made with careness
by British composer and researcher Michael J.Stewart
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