Orphica (CD). Publication date: 04/05/2007
Karikis is at the vanguard of contemporary sound research. His project 'Orphica' consists of twelve related musical compositions for acoustic instruments, electronics and voice, and operates at the crossroads of contemporary electronica, avant-garde and Greek-folk music genres. The research draws on the theme of the mythical singer and archetypal musician Orpheus, exploring different notions and perspectives around the social role and cultural function of the contemporary musician. Its differing outputs cover video, live performance, popular music genres and art gallery sound installations.
Orphica is Mikhail's debut solo album following on from collaborations with sound-explorers D. Toop and Scanner, and pop-experimentalist Björk. Part of 'Orphica' was first selected by Björk beside celebrated musicians M. White and P. Wolf in an international music competition initiated by her; it appeared on Björk’s album Army of Me (2005). To date Orphica has received over twenty international reviews, including in Le Monde (29.5.2007); it has featured on French and Italian national radio and in influential music magazines Wire and Mojo. Furthermore, Orphica consists of film animations screened at the British Film Institute alongside new works by Peter Greenaway (15. & 16.3.07) and at a variety of European festivals.
Inspired by the ancient Greek archetype of the poet/musician Orpheus, Karikis follows on from the long tradition of artists (spanning from Ovid through Shakespeare, Stravinsky to Nick Cave) who employ the Orphean theme to explore the political and emotional power of music, and the socio-cultural function of the artist-creator. No prior work has engaged with the Greek roots and geopolitical placement of the Orphean story – essential for the understanding of its symbolism and culturally transgressive nature. Karikis broke new ground with this project by retracing Orpheus’s steps to Mount Olympus and producing location audio-recordings.