Pages 46-49, November 2001, Greece
Interviewer: Tolis Elefantis (www.apoptose.net/compilations/amelectr.htm)
In which way do you believe that fairies indicate their existence nowadays?
Perhaps in fleeting glimpses. Light between trees before sunset. Morning dew on a spider-web. Quivering of grass as a wren alights. Crackling of fire. Music of fountains. Solitary wading of a waterbird. Warble of a magpie. Laugh of a kookaburra. Moss and lichen of a fruit tree. Tapping of twigs on a window-pane. Age of stone. Roar of the sea.
Do you think that the ability to communicate with fairies & elves has to do also with the esoteric purity that one must have?
Are they pure? Kipling wrote in Puck of Pook’s Hill: “I’ve seen Sir Huon and a troop of his people setting off from Tintagel Castle… in the teeth of a sou’-westerly gale… and the whole sea was green fire and white foam with mermaids singing in it. And the Horses of the Hills picked their way from one wave to another by the lightning flashes…”
Have you ever seen a real one?
What comes over the border is perhaps best left a secret.
In my opinion the whole point has to do also with the four elements existed as an internal spiritual structure of all human beings. So it is symbolized with the internal power one has to obtain (by means of the control upon the spirits of the proper waters, fires, earth, air), according to the ancient esoteric traditions. Do you share this notion?
Yes, I admire the Italian Renaissance physician, Marsilio Ficino, who said that the four elements represent the raw matter of Alchemy, awaiting transformation to a trinity of body/soul/spirit. (Robert Moore explores Ficino’s ideas in The Planets Within.)
Would you mind referring the most important things that bring you inspiration to write lyrics or to compose music? Tolkien’s books may have affected you… Have you been inspired also by the Greek Mythology?
Some things that inspire me are poetry, nature, Sufism and magic-realism… Yes, I read Tolkien’s books as a child, C.S. Lewis (Narnia) Ursula Le Guin (The Wizard of Earthsea) and later Dunsany (The King of Elfland’s Daughter & The Charwoman’s Shadow), who influenced Tolkien… I’m drawn to Orpheus, and to Karl Kerenyi’s writing on Hermes as a guide of souls.
What is your favorite mythical story re. Greek mythology and what other story do you like?
Quest of the Argonauts… Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah… Fairytales… The Thousand and One Nights. A great novel I’ve read this year is Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos.
Would you like to be found just for a few moments in a fairy place of Tolkien’s Middle Earth?
Dunsany’s Elfland is my choice: “dells of dream”; “spell-born lilies that grew… above the elfin tarns”; moss gleaming in pools like sea-floors; faery borders, told only in song, glimmering…
What were your first two releases Argo and Alexandria about, meaning the thematic that was covered by your fairyromantic music?
Argo: to journey out of our bureaucratized world is an adventure… theme of exile, e.g. in ‘Hyperion’ (Holderlin’s novel) or ‘House of Legend’ (Norwegian folktale)… on to Alexandria, where C.P. Cavafy lived in exile…(adapting) his poem ‘The God Abandons Antony’ and Milton’s ‘Lycidas’…
What ‘Nobelius Garden’ is about? What does it mean to you?
Nobelius made a forest-garden in Emerald Lake Park, in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges. Ancient fern, wattle and eucalyptus mingle with blue forget-me-nots in Spring. For me it means tranquility.
What are your most beloved movies?
Wings of Desire, The Wicker Man and All the Mornings of the World (on 17th century composers Marais and Sainte-Colombe)…There are many others.
‘Salamander’ is dedicated to Nick Drake. Considering him as an incredible and melancholically emotional musician with a tragic end, i would like to hear your opinion about him. I think he is one of the top ever folk singers.
The lucid dignity of his music was at first neglected. It is said, Alchemists knew they had made gold when a salamander appeared in the furnace. Don’t we yearn… to be more alive? Nick’s music bears the poignancy of a leaf falling. It ripples beyond time. “Going to see the river man/Going to tell him all I can/About the plan/For lilac time…” (from Nick’s song ‘River Man’ on Five Leaves Left.)
Had you ever been a member of any band before you start a solo singer career?
Two folk-rock groups – Fionvarra & Megwyn – and satirical band What the Funk: an accident – I was hired to sing “funk”, mishearing it as “folk” – I didn’t know we were doing James Brown till we were on stage! The audience called up the lyrics, the musicians weren’t sure if it was a joke…
Do you believe that there is secret hidden behind every romantic soul? Meaning that, what is the reason, that some human souls are floating to fine and lace ethereal worlds and some others on the contrary are losing to dense and dark vibrations?
It can be devastating to meet our heroes. We know them through gold (not) their base metals. I don’t think it’s wise to be too obsessed with the esoteric, or we become exclusive… Cowper Powys suggests the horror of life is deeper than the joy, but underneath the horror (is) a deeper joy.