"Within the reality of our society everything is consumed by the commodification machine. I’m not sure that art or music can stop that by itself. I think that art carries truth, and that truth is sometimes not the same as the existing realities served by systems. It can make people contact the Real, and this is all it can do."
George Gaudy: Human Experience Blues
George Gaudy is an Athens and London-based singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and producer with a gritty and versatile voice and a gift for building catchy, skilfully crafted, and carefully arranged songs. George has released the critically acclaimed LP Millionaire (2012) and the EP Will you (2014) via Archangel Music, followed by his first major label releases, the 4 digital singles Mother/Why oh why (2016) and Berlin/Lullaby (2017) via Universal Music Greece and his sophomore LP Little Pieces (2020) via his own label, Sun Kid Ltd. He is currently recording his next album. His songs earned airplay in most major national Greek radio stations, and are regularly featured in playlists and blogs in Greece, Germany and the UK. (George Gaudy / Photo © by Ioanna Kitrou)
Career Highlights: Synced Mother and I Lost My Soul as theme songs of the hit TV series Eteros Ego / Headlined the historic "Gagarin 205" venue in Athens, Greece in 2017 / Supported artists as diverse as Sivert Høyem's Paradise in Gagarin 205 and The Fun Loving Criminals in Fuzz club / Headlined "Young guitars and Heroes festival by Jumping Fish festival" in 2013, which was attended by more than 4.000 people / Composed for short films, tv commercials and internet platforms, and licensed songs in tv series / Received Best OST award in the Five Continents International Film Festival for Humphrey / Earned an MA (distinction) in Songwriting from the ICMP and a classical piano and music theory degree from the Athenaeum Conservatory, and is a PhD candidate in composition in the University of East London.
How has the Blues and Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
The counterculture, as expressed in America and Britain in the 1960s, has caused a seismic shift society and politics that defined the past 60 years. For me it served as a vantage point and a utopic ideal that coloured my perception of the world in profound ways. It existed as a reminder of personal liberty and independent thought, a kind of a mini-enlightment. Some of its iconic constructions (such as the electric guitar) and it's resistance to consumerism and the goal of independent thinking have been instrumental to my personal growth as an artist and a person.
The counterculture's devolution into a commodified genre of music and a lifestyle is one of the worlds greatest wasted opportunities of progress.
How do you describe your sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?
Most of my influences come from the greater blues and folk space -- but there is an equally important part of my practice that comes from classical training. Recently I have been trying to rediscover Greek Modal music and traditional song.
I wouldn't say that I have a philosophy per se. Still I value authenticity more than novelty in my own music making.
Where does your creative drive come from? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
My creative drive comes from the universal human experience, love and loss and everyday struggles. I hope people can find a small part of themselves in my songs. I believe that the more sincere you are in your expression, the more people can recognise their own experience in your music, and this is important to me.
"The past exists only in idealised form, as I wasn't born back then. I think what I miss from this idealised past is the humanness of it, the feeling that everybody has the right to express themselves and the imperfections that made them human. It feels like the more we progress the more we dehumanise music." (George Gaudy, Athens Greece 2021/ Photo © by Ioanna Kitrou)
Are there any specific memories or highlights of your career that you would like to tell us about?!
While this is not exactly a career moment, one very vivid memory I have is a jam in a pub in Greenwich, London. Nine Below Zero, a blues band of legendary pedigree hosted a monthly jam night and when I lived in London I used to go occasionally and jam with them. For someone that grew up in Athens, being that close to the original players of this music felt extremely fulfilling.
Career wise, my songs being featured in Eteros Ego (Greek TV series/psychological thriller), various moments of playing festivals and gigs with my special people, recordings... too many to choose from. Something that can not be beat is the process of making my first album. I’m very grateful for those that came onboard before we had any real career goals or any guarantees for success. I will always miss this stage of my life, the creativity and the sense of camaraderie.
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
The past exists only in idealised form, as I wasn't born back then. I think what I miss from this idealised past is the humanness of it, the feeling that everybody has the right to express themselves and the imperfections that made them human. It feels like the more we progress the more we dehumanise music.
This is my greatest fear, dehumanisation. What gives me hope is that the more technology facilitates sterility and perfection, pockets of humanity will still exist and become essential for our expression. There is something mesmerising when you watch someone play an instrument that will resist the automation process.
Music needs to have blood, flesh and bones.
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
I would disconnect music from the free market. The pressure of success can crush one's spirit and their artistry suffers. I don't know what this could look like living in this world, where you have to toil to eat.
I just know that music and art demand so much of your time with no guarantee of supporting you or making a living for you. If we want great art to be made we have to have people that can indulge themselves in it 24/7.
"Most of my influences come from the greater blues and folk space -- but there is an equally important part of my practice that comes from classical training. Recently I have been trying to rediscover Greek Modal music and traditional song. I wouldn't say that I have a philosophy per se. Still I value authenticity more than novelty in my own music making." (Photo: George Gaudy, 2021 Amersham Arms, London UK)
What's the balance in music between technique skills and soul/emotions? What do you think is key to a music life well lived?
For me skill is admirable and useful. It is the way to make your hands do what your brain imagines. Skill by itself doesn't harm soul or emotions or expression; But it is a means to an end.
If the only goal is to demonstrate skill, then your performance does become soulless. Soul is also not about playing slowly or expressively, it is about embracing lived experience, digging inside you to unearth something important and then presenting it to the world. You can do that in every skill level - if you don't you are not performing music but athletics, and you are judged accordingly.
Skill should serve musicianship.
What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?
Within the reality of our society everything is consumed by the commodification machine. I’m not sure that art or music can stop that by itself. I think that art carries truth, and that truth is sometimes not the same as the existing realities served by systems. It can make people contact the Real, and this is all it can do.
So, I don't know how society and culture changes, I just know that people need to see the Real, to experience it, to taste it. Traditionally many artists have been almost shamanic, they carry the burden of experiencing the Real and the bring tiny fragments of it back with them.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?
If I can choose one, then it is patience. You have to learn patience if you want to do anything, and music is the best teacher of patience there is.
(Photo: George Gaudy, singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and producer with a gritty and versatile voice and a gift for building catchy, skilfully crafted, and carefully arranged songs.)
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