The CD ‘THE WOLF’ was made in close collaboration with the Greek writer Yiannis Kalpouzos. Yiannis is both known as a novelist, a poet, and lyricist for songs, and has been successful for many years in each of these fields. For an idea of his work you can check his facebook page here and his webpage here (in Greek!)
Yiannis and Marifenia had known each other for years, and when we as Kranides decided to write an album with our own music, we first turned to Yiannis to ask him to provide us with lyrics. Yiannis was from the beginning very enthousiastic and supportive of our project, and he immediately gave us some lyrics which had not yet been combined with music. He was also willing to write new lyrics to some of our first compositions which Michiel had already written (You are not forgotten, I don’t forget you, The sea’s embrace, and Journey – all these without titles at the time). During that first meeting he loosely referred to the poem ‘The Wolf’ as being a possibility to set to music. He needed to look into it and would send it later via email.
Several of the song texts he gave us inspired us immediately, and amoung the first songs to be completed were ‘The dwelling of the soul’, and ‘Wish I was there, whish you were here’.
The most exciting part of the project was what became our titletrack, ‘THE WOLF’.
For this, we have to take our hats off to Yiannis.
What a masterpiece he wrote with THE WOLF, a poem in the archaic Greek form known as ‘paralogy’ (not the same as the English word paralogy). Yiannis has used this form in a contemporary way, and has woven in words from the region of the Epirus mountains where the story unfolds.
We felt from the beginning priviliged and deeply inspired by this moving tale, even more so because we were living up in those mountains in which ‘the ashen wolf‘ was ‘walking on two feet, not killing, not bleeding..’
We spent a lot of time thinking about how we wanted to approach it, and in this case Marifenia’s vocal delivery proved to be central. There are very few melodic parts in the voice, but the phrasing and pace
of the story form the backbone of the music, so we worked from there and filled it in.
By the time we had finished composing the first minute of the music, it was clear to us that this would be artistically the most important work on the album, and for that it needed to be the titletrack. It tied our whole project together.
Apart of the song texts which Yiannis provided, his work has had a big influence on the music, and the concept of our project in general.
On a less personal note, a brief summary of Yiannis work:
Yiannis Kalpouzos was born in the village Melates of Arta, but he lives permanently in Athens since 1983, as an ‘internal immigrant’ as he puts it. His published works to date include three poetry collections, a collection of short stories, and six novels. His poetry collection “Love now and forever” was on the short list for the national poetry prize, and the novel “Imaret” was awarded the Readers’ Prize of the National Book Centre. “Imaret” has been translated and published into Polish, Turkish and Arabic. Imaret has also been published in an adaptation for a younger audience. Yiannis Kalpouzos has written the lyrics of around 80 songs, including ‘Whatever I love is yours’ sang by Glykeria, ‘Ten witches’ with John Savvidakis, ‘If only you were the sea’ with Natasa Theodoridou, ‘What I have missed’ with Eleni Peta, ‘Because I loved you much’ by Orpheus Peridis, (also interpreted by famous singers Socrates Malamas, Glykeria and Manolis Lidakis) – and many other well known songs.