10 years of Horror & Romance
Music inspired by Stefanos Rokos’ exhibition
Since the release date of the musical compilation “Horror & Romance On Another Planet”, which accompanied my art exhibition of the same name, my mind has been seeking ideas for future events celebrating its anniversary. It’s something that I often catch myself doing – making long-term plans before I even finish what I’ve been working on. Of course, back then I couldn’t imagine that 10 years would go by so quickly, or that in 2020 humanity would be overwhelmed by an uncontrollable pandemic called COVID-19. Maybe I will have two children by then - that was just about all I could think of. And nothing has changed, Everything has changed David Bowie sings on “Sunday”, who has passed away in the last ten years since that time.
Therefore, from early on I was thinking of choosing 3-4 songs from the compilation’s original 18, and asking the musicians to rework them to release an EP vinyl celebrating 10 years of Horror & Romance. I wanted to do the same with the cover art, in other words do my own kind of remix, aiming for a new approach to the same subject, by featuring a new heroine who comes head-to-head with a squid instead of an octopus. A change so simple, but by nature carrying a different tone.
The major difficulty of the project was deciding which songs to choose, given that all 18 of the previous release have a special meaning to me. I love them all regardless, and no matter how many times I listen to them they always touch me and honor both myself and my paintings.
The Fiery Furnaces rearrange their 8-minute psychedelic epic, this time with Eleanor Friedberger on the vocals. I also like that “Another Romance on Planet Horror” in 2010 was the last recording released by the Friedberger siblings as The Fiery Furnaces before their break, and that today’s adaptation of the song coincides with their official reunion.
“Steven’s Dream” by Manolis Aggelakis becomes “Το όνειρο του Στέφανου” (To oniro tοu Stefanou), and gives the most personal touch to the compilation, with a piece that could be one of my visual works.
With the dance remix of “Between Atoms”, Krista Muir changes the tone of the original composition, which fittingly ended the compilation in 2010. A slow, sensitive, intensely emotionally charged song takes on a new twist.
A surprise on the release of “10 Years of Horror & Romance” is “The Lost Engine” by Pavlos Pavlidis, a song which Pavlos didn’t manage to produce in time when we were putting together the final material for the album’s mastering. It is therefore the missing track, the lost 19th unreleased song from the album and now is part of the project – altered and reworked.
I want to thank again all the artists and partners of the initial release, as well as everyone who supported this ambitious idea, the realization of which was for me one of the most important steps I’ve taken to best explore both my artistic vision and my love of music.
Today, ten years later, I am happy that we are still here, creating and being moved in different ways, even under such difficult conditions. Eleanor, Matt, Pavlos, Krista, Manolis, Manolis, Manolis, Chrisanthos, Constantina, Anastasia, Chronis, Despina, Chryssa, Aris, Kormoranos, Maria, Harry, Panagiotis, Manos, Ypatios, Theodore, Iro, Kostas and all the United We Fly team, thank you from all my heart. Maybe someday we can do something again for the 150 years of Horror & Romance.
Stefanos Rokos, September 2020