Evis Sammoutis is Associate Professor of Composition at Ithaca College, NY and the Artistic Director of the Pharos Arts Foundation International Contemporary Music Festival. His works have been performed in more than forty countries and awarded several important prizes and distinctions (such as the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, the Irino Prize, the Andres Segovia Prize and Concours Dutilleux) and were commissioned by prestigious organizations worldwide (such as the Venice Biennale, Klangspuren Festival and ARD). His music was selected for five ISCM festivals (Korea, Hong Kong, Stuttgart, Belgium and Poland). Performers include Peter Sheppard Skaerved, the Arditti Quartet, Klangforum Wien, Neue Vocalsolisten, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ensemble Modern and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He holds a PhD in Music Composition from the University of York with additional studies on full scholarships as a Fellow at IRCAM, Darmstadt, Voix Nouvelles and Tanglewood. For more information, see: www.evissammoutis.com
About the piece
Secret Garden is a composition that is based on a homonymous pencil drawing by the young Armenian artist Arshak Sarkissian. I have been interested in Arshak’s pencil drawings for a while now. I have found his art to be in close alignment with the imagery of Primitivism as well as my own interest in mythology, animals, and the music of previous centuries. My strictly traditional formal training together with my contemporary aesthetic outlook, the frequently used process of mixing reality with fiction and traditional techniques and methods with unique thematics, yet always leaving room for interpretation, are some of my artistic qualities that I also see in Arshak’s work.