04 March 2008

gr/en: Aegean Airlines Advertisement

en: Eurovision Song Contest
Greek Final 27 Feb.2008

On the 27th of February, ERT (the Greek National Broadcaster) presented an amazing show at Athinon Arena, in Athens, as part of the traditional procedure for choosing this year's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. I had the opportunity to watch the show from a close distance and not from my Mac's TV connection, and I can definitely say that the show was worth watching live. ERT did it this year, proving that when you combine talent and money investing you can come up with something amusing and fan for people to watch...

The Show was presented by the very talented "Magira Sisters". They were the host of the night, they sang (playback of course), they danced in a "musical - broadway" style, filling the stage along with the ballet, with costumes, freshly orchestrated (!!) music, everyone could tell they are two talented ladies... In general, the Magira Sisters stood up to the standards and needs of an expensive production expected and very much desired by the contest's fans... I think ERT made it this year and gave us a european scale show.. Bravo!

After all, this contest is not only about music anymore (maybe it was at some other times in the past) but its also about the show, the glamour, the spectacle which a fan is expecting to see. Personally I have been watching the contest since 1990 'till today. I always have been listening to a number of different styles and textures of musical productions and the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) provides a number of different music styles, from countries mainly coming from the European continent. In the beginning, I was personally interested in the show, at the age of 10-15. The idea of songs coming from different European countries amazed me and the opportunity given to me back then, to listen to music sang in different languages, just fascinated me. As the years went buy, and as I started getting more seriously involved with music and aspects of the music world, I started having a more music-centered interest in this contest. For people who have been watching the ESC for what it is, know that the songs presented in this contest are not always of a "pop" genre. You get all the range of orchestral based song arrangements, to commercial rock, to dance music, sometimes even operatic or instrumental (almost) songs, with all those elements that come from countries with different music styles in their culture. I could not deny that I still do enjoy the part of the contest which is the actual "show", but for people who listen to a number of styles and textures in songwriting productions, the ESC is a good chance to get a bit of it in a package of "all-in-one" night TV show.

That Eurovision Song Contest has brought me closer to some artists I today enjoy listening to, and I must say that I still love and listen to songs like:
Zusammen Geh'n (sang by Tony Wegas, Austria 1990),
Frauen Regier'n Die Welt (sang by Roger Cicero, Germany 2007)
A Cidade Até Ser Dia (sang by Anabela, Portugal 1993),
Neka mi ne svane (sang by Danijela, Croatia 1998),
Lusitana paixão (sang by Dulce Pontes, Portugal 1991),
To nie ja (sang by Edyta Górniak, Poland 1994),
Maria Magdalena (sang by Doris, Croatia 1999)
One More Night (Sang by Esther Hart, The Netherlands 2003),
Talking to you (sang by Jakob Sveistrup, Denmark 2005),
Chcę znać swój grzech (sang by Kasia Kowalska, Poland 1995),
Nostalgija (sang by Magazin & Lidija, Croatia 1995)
In your eyes (sang by Niamh Kavanagh, Ireland 1993)
C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison (sang by Amina, France 1990)
Ime Anthropos ki Ego (sang by Evridiki, Cyprus 1994)
Stop (sang by Omar Naber, Slovenia 2005)
Minn hinsti dans (sang by Paul Oscar, Iceland 1994)
Samo ljubezen (sang by Sestre, Slovenia 2002)
The silence that remains (sang by Shiri Maymon, Israel 2005)
Shara Barechovot (sang by Rita, Israel 1990)
Mister Music Man (sang by Daisy Auvray, Switzerland 1992)
Rapsodia (sang by Mia Martini, Italy 1992)
Dinle (sang by Sebnem Paker, Turkey 1997)
Deixa-me sonhar (sang by Rita Guerra, Portugal 2003)
Eighties Coming Back (Sang by Ruffus, Estonia 2003)
Stronger Every Minute (sang by Lisa Andreas, Cyprus 2004)

(Songs not in a specific order. Look them up in YouTube if you're interested in listening to these...)

The greek final had three song participations:
1. A chance to Love (Sang by Chryspa)
2. Always And Forever (Sang by Costas Martakis)
3. Secret Combination (Sang by Kalomoira Saranti)
The live performance (only singers where singing live) was very good comparing to other Greek Finals. Chryspa unfortunately was off-tune more than once, especially on her low notes, and in general it was the less interesting song presented to the audience. Costas Martakis, I must say, was very good in voice. His live performance was very confident and the stage set helped him a lot, although I do believe that the white color clothes he and his ballet were wearing were not very eye friendly. Nevertheless, I felt that he was good! To be honest I underestimated him since I expected to see and hear something not very nice. I was wrong! He really was good. Kalomoira (the name in greek is actually pronounced "Kalomira") was a natural on stage. She was dancing and singing at the same time, her breathing control was not bad at all, and her tuning was very good. She didn't actually missed a note... I was just not thrilled with the presentation of the song. At the end of the night, she won due to the televoting results which counted the 60% of the final outcome. There was a jury comity which counted as a 40% of the final decision, although I must say that there were a lot of people in the jury who had not much of a connection to music or to the actual ESC.

I personally was happy with either Martakis or Kalomoira as a final result, though I did prefer Kalomoira as a package.
The Greek Entry to the ESC08,
Secret Combination (Singer: Kalomira)

Cyprus on the other hand, chose a song with a very strong greek "baglama" element, from the very first note. Talking to Nicos Evaggelou, the Cypriot song-writer, and asking him how he came to decide to send such a song to the Cyprus final, he mentioned that he though it would be a nice change and that he was willing to attend the Cyprus final and "miss" the ticket to Belgrade, if it came to that. I guess that the same goes for the first semi-finals of this year's ESC as far as the Cypriot song is concerned. I must admit that I actually like the song, and I just love the new arrangement with the freshly recorded "wind instruments" in the arrangement. Talking to the lyricist, Vagelis Evagelou, a Cypriot arts teacher and brother of Nicos, I found out that the lyrics were written especially for Evdokia, and were added to the music Nicos had already composed. These guys believe that the stage performance and presentation of their song is of the greatest importance concerning this contest, taking under consideration that the ESC is after all a TV show that millions of people are watching and at the end of which they vote through the "televoting" system of their countries... I kinda agree with that, since the main voting body will actually be the people who will be watching the contest that night through their TV screens... Had the chance to talk with Evdokia, the singer of the Cyprus entry for the ESC 2008, after the end of the Greek final in Athinon Arena, and I must say that I loved that girl from the very beginning... Very calm, with a positive aura, sweet and much much more beautiful in person than I expected! Oh.. and not to forget to mention the amazing French accent she has, since of what I heard, she is a fluent French speaker...

Watch the short-talk of kappa MYSTA with Evdokia here,
Singer of the Cyprus Entry for the ESC08

(video taken for www.ESCFans.eu)
1 Singer: Evdokia Kadi.
2. Song-Writer: Nicos Evangelou.
3. Lyricist: Vangelis Evangelou.
4. Arranger: Nicos Evangelou & Neofitos Neofitou
5. Producer: Neofitos Neofitou.
6: DJ who remixed the song: Onur

You can also watch the Cyprus entry as it was presented
in the Greek final, which is the final version of the song
concerning the orchestration arrangement (play-back):

What can I say? Good luck to Greece & Cyprus..
Let's all enjoy the contest and the music show, nomatter what the final results will be...

kappa MYSTA