Tangents vol.1 — Manos Hadjidakis

Tangents is a radio show creating an interconnected musical journey tangentially linking each exotic artist to the next. Sunday nights on WYCE 88.1 FM at 11pm EST — http://wyce.org

“Manos Hadjidakis is perhaps modern Greece’s greatest composer and songwriter, rivaled only by Mikis Theodorakis for the title. Hadjidakis helped usher in a new era of Greek music in the post-WWII era, elevating the earthiest strains of Greek folk and popular song into respected art forms. In the process, he found tremendous popular success in his home country, chiefly through his work as a pop songwriter, and became familiar to international audiences through his movie soundtracks, winning an Oscar in 1960. He also composed contemporary classical pieces for ensembles small and large, often inspired by Greek poetry, and wrote for theater and ballet. Many of his songs, larger compositions, and recordings are considered classics in Greece, and cornerstones of the country’s modern popular music. He remained a highly respected intellectual and cultural figure in Greece up until his death in 1994.” — Steve Huey, All Music Guide

Consisting of ten instrumental songs, “To hamogelo tis Tzokontas” (“Gioconda’s smile”, 1965) is one of the most important works of Greek music. A concert was held at Megaron Mousikis in 1995, one year after Hadjidakis’ death. The songs performed in the first part are: “Otan erhonte ta synnefa” (“When the clouds come”), “Kontessa Esterhazy” (“Countess Esterhazy”), “I parthena tis gitonias mou” (“Virgin in my neighbourhood).


Manos Hadjidakis teamed up with The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble to release an album called “Reflections” in 1970.

New York Rock & Roll Ensemble —Noble Dame — “Reflections” — 1970


The New York Rock and Roll Ensemble strayed away from their classical roots even more with their album “Roll Over” also in 1971.

New York Rock & Roll Ensemble —Fields of Joy — “Roll Over” — 1971


Michael Kamen, a lead songwriter in The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, went on to create some famous movie soundtracks including Lethal Weapon, Roadhouse, and Brazil.

Brazil — Kate Bush/Michael Kamen — 1985


Kate Bush was a teenager when she was discovered and was signed to EMI at age 16. Her first song formally recorded with the label, “Wuthering Heights’ went on to become a hit. The song went to #1 in the UK charts in January of 1978.

Kate Bush — Wuthering Heights — “The Kick Inside” — 1978


Kate Bush was brought to EMI by non other than David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. The experimental rock group was known for there many adventurous recordings including Side A of their album “Atom Heart Mother”

Pink Floyd — Atom Heart Mother Suite — “Atom Heart Mother” — 1970


Stanley Kubrick approached Pink Floyd to use this composition in his new film “A Clockwork Orange”. The group regrettably turned him down. Kubrick worked with electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos for the film. Serendipitous, Carlos had already read the book and was working on a composition for it titled Timesteps.

Wendy Carlos — Timesteps (excerpt)— “A Clockwork Orange” — 1971


Tune in next week at we start off with Wendy Carlos for Tangents Vol.2